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Book Madness nets 1,300 books for elementary students

A Porter Ridge High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club member reads to students at Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts after the club collected and donated 1,300 gently used and new books to the school.

The Porter Ridge High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club gave a whole new meaning to March Madness this year. Rather than being consumed with the wins and losses of their favorite basketball teams during the month of March, the 15 high school FBLA club members dubbed a community involvement project as Book Madness and turned their attention to their goal of collecting 500 books for Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts.

During three weeks in March, the Porter Ridge FBLA students were able to collect 1,300 gently used and new books ranging from ABCs books to chapter books from fellow Porter Ridge students and the community using the project slogan of “Help Porter Ridge Share a Legacy of Learning.”

The Porter Ridge FBLA club members delivered the books to Benton Heights on April 3. They set the school’s media center up like a book fair with one major difference from a regular book fair. All books were free to students.

Throughout the day every Benton Heights classroom was able to go to the media center and each of the 700 students was allowed to choose a book that they could keep. The high school students assisted the children in their selections and then read their books with them in small reading groups. All books not taken by students were donated to supplement classroom libraries at Benton Heights.

Jeremy Hess, Porter Ridge High School FBLA president said, “This has been a really enjoyable project.  The elementary kids really have opened up to us once we started reading with them.”

Benton Heights media coordinator Beth Lanzy said, “This has been a wonderful effort by the Porter Ridge students. Our children have really enjoyed the high school students’ assistance in selecting their books and reading with them.”

Lanzy also said the school’s book fair sales were way down this year due to the economy, and that the Book Madness event could not have come at a better time.

“We really appreciate Porter Ridge High School principal, Sam Basden and the FBLA club sponsor and business teacher, Barbara Ellis Johnson for all of their help and guidance in helping to make this possible for our students,” said Lanzy.

Written by: Luan Ingram, Chief Communications Officer
Posted: Apr 17, 2009 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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