by Lisa Tome
Xakiah Hardy stepped out her front door on Wednesday afternoon, May 7, and returned home minutes later with a free book, pencil, and bookmark.
Have Books, Will Travel had arrived in the neighborhood where Hardy, a Gilpin Manor Elementary fifth grader, lives.
"I got a "High School Musical" book. I read to get better," said Hardy.
For the third consecutive year, after the school day ended, more than 20 staffers
from Gilpin Manor boarded a school bus. They then stopped in four Elkton neighborhoods - Rudy Park, Walnut Hill, Landing Lane, and Glen Creek. At each stop, teachers greeted students. They also passed out the bookmarks, which are decorated with important calendar dates for the next school year, and pencils.
Students, and their older and younger siblings were invited to select a book for free. The books were organized by grade level to make for easier distribution.
According to Cheryl Fetterolf, Family Involvement Advisor for the school, the event is paid for with Title I funds. "We are building their home libraries. With a lot of our events, we try to give away books," said Fetterolf. More than 150 books were distributed during the four stops last week.
Marissa Albert is in sixth grade. But she was thrilled after selecting Judy Blume's "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing." "I like to read," said Albert.
The staffers from Gilpin Manor weren't the only folks doing a good deed on Wednesday afternoon. Bus contractor Michael Bench, owner of Bench Bus Co., drove the bus for Have Books, Will Travel. Bench donated the use of the bus and his service. "His generosity helped to make this event possible," said Fetterolf. "As well as the teachers and staff who distributed all of the books."