Books from strangers welcome Williams/Ledger students back to school
Special to the Leader-Press
With the click of a button, the books came pouring in to the classroom of Williams/Ledger Elementary teacher Amy Hunt. Within two hours, all of her students had a sponsor that would encourage them to read with gifts of books and boost their confidence with handwritten messages.
“Over the summer, I saw a post on Facebook asking about sponsors for students. Thinking it was a great idea, I posted about wanting a sponsor for each of my new 4th graders,” Hunt said. “I was not expecting to have it happen that fast. I was amazed at the willingness of others to encourage students that they don’t know. There were so many people willing to help that I had more sponsors than I have students.”
On the first day of school, Hunt’s 4th graders walked into class noticing the display of presents and new books on the table. When Hunt told them that everything they saw on the table was for them, their faces lit up.
Once students found their ways to their chairs, Hunt started calling out names to receive their books. Some walked up to the table with a huge smile while others had a look of disbelief.
“I am really happy,” said student Mikaela Ruth. “I like reading and I haven’t ever had a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book before.”
After opening their own gifts, they were excited to show each other their books. Some even took their new books to recess and lunch.
Students including Sione Paulo, 9, could not believe it when Hunt told them at the end of the day that they got to take the books home to keep.
“I was thankful because I like reading,” Paulo said. “It was a really good surprise.”
The books were sent from high classmates of Hunt, retired educators and others from across the country that wanted to make a difference in a child’s life through literacy, Hunt said.
“What a great way to start out a brand-new year than with a new book and to think that someone else thought about each of these students as they start their new journey as 4th graders,” Hunt said. “Seeing all of them so happy and excited about their new gifts, my heart was smiling and so full.”