Valdosta - First graders at J.L. Lowmax Elementary couldn't be more excited. Not because school will soon be out for summer, but because they're getting free books! "I'm happy because I get to read new books instead of reading the same ones every time I come to the library," said Bryan Roe, Third Grader.
It's like Christmas in May, and the Valdosta Rotary Club is playing Santa Claus. They're surprising every single student in the school with a free book. "Some of those students never owned a book and we remembered how much we loved our books as kids and thought, wouldn't it be wonderful if every child had a book," said Suzannah Patterson, Rotary Club President.
The club calls it their "Books at Bedtime" campaign to increase the literacy rate in South Georgia They received a $1,200 grant from the district rotary office and donated the rest of the money for the books. "We hope they learn to love to read," said Patterson.
It's a small gesture that will go a long way and make a lasting difference for these students. "If they can go home with a book and say look what I have and be able to take it to bed with them at night and read it, then they'll want another book," said Patterson.
And if inspiring these kids to read more is their goal, mission accomplished. "I'm going to take them home and read them and get my one million words," said Calsha Sherman.
"I like to read because it makes me smarter and smarter and I can tell people about the book I read," said Jasmine White.
Wednesday, the excitement starts all over again. The Rotary Club will give about 600 more books to students at Pine Grove Elementary.