The atmosphere inside Silsbee Elementary School’s cafeteria on Thursday morning, May 10, was pure electricity.
“We set out to increase literacy some years ago with the Hardin County Rotary Club,” Rotarian Beth Kirk.
The Club went to local business owners across the county, “asking them to raise money to buy books for schools in Lumberton, Kountze, and Silsbee,” she said.
Over the past nine years, the Hardin County Rotary has handed out over 15,000 books to young readers.
“This is our seventh year of working with the Rotary Club,” Jill Tarkington, third-grade teacher just before the distribution to students began.
The Readers from Rotary Program organized by the Rotary Club and Tarkington gives first-graders book-bags filled with books to carry them through the summer.
“We want to give something special,” Tarkington said, “you own books!”
After the excitement dies down, Tarkington points to the table loaded with packed book bags noting that over 2,000 books were waiting to go home with each student.
“Take them, read them, and share them with your brothers and sisters,” she said.
The Readers from Rotary Program looks to combat summer ‘brain-drain’ where students’ reading skills erode outside the classroom.
Rotary book bags contain roughly ten fun books of fiction and nonfiction that Tarkington selects and the Hardin County Rotary provides the money to purchase.
Silsbee Elementary first-graders each received a book bag and a high-five from Rotary members.