(KTRE) – Reading rocks! That's the message the students of St. Cyprian's Episcopal school are sharing with their community. Saturday, they met at Kiwanis park in Lufkin to give away more than 1,000 books to kids.
The school was chosen to receive grant money from the Angelina County Rotary club, in honor of beloved educator and former club president Dawn Youdan, who died in 2006. Students continue to carry out Youdan's mission through the gift of books.
"We're giving books out to kids if they don't have books," said 11-year-old Preston Loggins.
"Or if they do have books they just add ones to their collection," said 11-year-old Allison Todd.
"So they can have the pleasure of enjoying that in their mind," said 11-year-old Kerstin Andrews.
The students of St. Cyprian's Episcopal school love to read, already completing one and a half million pages this year.
"Oh yeah I love to read. It teaches me a lot," said 11-year-old Julia Glass.
"Every time I read a book and open it, I imagine myself in that place and I can go on a new adventure every day," said 9-year-old Elizabeth Jones.
"It's like a little TV in your head," said Loggins.
"They love to grab books and find out anything they can about the world," said school librarian Susanne Lively. "The more they read, the better they do in school and the better they do in life."
Lively says the students didn't hesitate in deciding how they wanted to use the grant money.
"Times are hard and books are expensive and they know that and they just wanted to be sure that every kid that wanted a book could have a book to call their own," said Lively.
"The community has given so much to our school so this is a chance to give back," added 11-year-old Garrett Croley.
They waste no time in helping other kids like 14-year-old Hannah Jones find the perfect book.
"It's a chance to learn about different cultures and different societies and how they live," said Jones.
"Seeing these kids and letting them have a book and seeing the expressions on their faces-- it feels really good," said Glass.
They even offer up some suggestions for the best reads.
"Magic Tree House really, because I loved those books when I was little," said 10-year-old Seth Jordan.
"Now I enjoy Harry Potter," said Croley.
With plenty of good books to choose from, they make sure no one is left out.
Faculty, students and parents stayed in the park, giving away books until all of them were gone. Children also enjoyed free snacks and story time in the park.