Church offers book for every student


Donna Thompson, Linda Huie, Phyllis Altstaetter, Nancy Howze, Martha Sanborn, Katie Dykes, Dr. Geoffrey Lentz, Mary Lou Cumbie were on hand to help children find the best book for their interests.

Wes Locher
Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 10:21 AM.

The First United Methodist Church was on a mission to get kids reading even if it took giving away books to each and every student.

That’s exactly what church members did.

Last Thursday, the United Methodist Women hosted their ninth annual Book Give-A-Way where every child at Port St. Joe Elementary School received a new book purchased by the women’s group.

What started as a small church activity with around 100 children benefiting has grown exponentially and books were given to 615 students including those leaving kindergarten and entering the first grade.

“The most rewarding mission project our church does is right here in Gulf County,” said Donna Thompson, who is also the reading specialist at the school.

The books available covered a gamut of genres, from serious, to funny, to books about sea life and insects. Children scrambled to see what was available and carefully selected their summer reading.

Thompson held the give-a-way to coincide with the last day of the Book Buddies program where once a week, residents Phyllis Altstaetter and Martha Sanborn visit the classroom and read one-on-one with students in order to help students improve their reading skills.

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