Annual Gift of Reading kicks off for the holiday season

Published: Nov. 28, 2018 at 5:32 PM EST
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The Marquette-Alger Reading Council (MARC) announced the beginning of the annual Gift of Reading Project.

"It's a great part to give other kids and people books for Christmas," said Sandy Knoll 5th grader, Caden Laurn.

'Tis the season of giving, and the staff and students at Sandy Knoll Elementary School are doing just that, but in a unique way.

"The Gift of Reading Project is a local collaboration within all the different schools where we collect books and then we give those books to different organizations within the community around Christmas time,” said Gift of Reading Coordinator, Amanda Swanson.

The Gift of Reading Project began more than 30 years ago when Mary Davis, a teacher from the Marquette Area Public Schools, was inspired by an article she read in the Detroit Free Press.

She brought the idea to her librarian, Joann, and upon consideration from MARC, the project was born.

"We've collected over 32,000 books, and it feels amazing to be part of a group of mostly teachers that have been doing this project and to keep it going for so many years,” said Swanson.

Some of the students say they're extremely happy to do this for the community and hope they enjoy reading as much as they do.

"Helping spread like the world, it makes your feelings feel good, because you're helping people that don't have things that you have and you want to be nice to everybody,” said Sandy Knoll 5th grader, Easton Lefebvre.

"I love books and books can take you places, and you can learn a lot from books,” said Laurn.

All the new books they collect are donated to youth service agencies, public health and dental centers, nursing homes, and many other locations.

New books can be dropped off anytime by December 7th at collection boxes at the Peter White Library and Snowbound Books in Marquette, as well as any schools and school libraries in the two-county area.

Checks can also be sent in anytime throughout the year. If you are interested in sending cash donation to Gift of Reading Project, organizers ask for the check to be made out to MARC-Gift of Reading and please mail it to P.O. Box 1084, Marquette, MI 49855.