When Florida Kiwanians approved a request for school library funds, they were just getting started.
By Julie Saetre
Laura Robinson, educational library media specialist at Wimauma Elementary School in Florida, knows firsthand the wear and tear that library books withstand. Every few years, she replaces titles that have been well-read by countless classrooms of students. But like many schools in underserved areas, the budget didn’t have room for restocking the shelves.
So Robinson wrote to the Kiwanis Club of SouthShore, Sun City Center, Florida, asking if it could donate US$500 toward the cause. Members easily approved her request, but they were so moved by the need that they started thinking: What if they could do more?
“There were books for every age and every reader in an elementary school. From simple picture books to novels and dictionaries.”
They decided to harness the power of social media and posted requests asking the community for book donations. Within days, members received more than 300 new and gently used tomes.
“There were books for every age and every reader in an elementary school, from simple picture books to novels and dictionaries” says Kim Przekop, a board at-large member of the SouthShore club.
The Kiwanians boxed up the donations, then called Robinson.
“We told her we had a few books to donate to the school while the requested funds were processing,” Przekop says.
Joined by her son, Przekop drove to Wimauma Elementary to surprise Robinson with six large book-filled boxes.
“She couldn’t believe her eyes,” says Przekop. “The club will continue to ask for books from local families to keep the Wimauma Elementary School Library full of books.”
This story originally appeared in the August 2020 issue of Kiwanis magazine.