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Good deed challenge nets 1,535 books for Walter Bickett Elementary

Hannah Haigler, left, a 13-year-old student at Porter Ridge Middle School, reads to students at Walter Bickett Elemetary School from one of the 1,500 books she collected for the students at the school.

Hannah Haigler's teacher asked them to do a good deed for another person before winter break.

Haigler, a 13-year-old, eighth grade student at Porter Ridge Middle School, decided to collect books for children at Walter Bickett Elementary.

She hoped to collect about 300 books and give them to students in the lower grades. Haigler ended up with 1,535 books. Each student at Walter Bickett Elementary School received two books.

"I've always loved books," Haigler said. "I'd rather be home alone, sitting with a book than out with friends."

Haigler thought giving all these kids books was "a perfect thing."

They sent out e-mails and hung flyers requesting books from the community. Haigler said The Book Lady, a book store in Monroe, was also a large help.

"Each kid in the whole school gets two books to take home," Haigler said. "Some of these kids, this is going to be their only Christmas present...(it) gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling, you know?"

She dropped off the books on Thursday and read one of her favorite books from her childhood to a class. After reading the book, she handed out candy canes.

Haigler hopes to give out books again next year.

Principal Theresa Benson was thrilled that her students received the books.

"They were so excited," Benson said. "Our students don't always have the books at home. We have lots and lots of books here, but they don't always have the books at home to pick up and read and one of the most important messages that Hannah gave to these children was that reading is important."

"What a wonderful family. What a wonderful example," she said.
Haigler was a student at Hemby Bridge Elementary School when Benson was an assistant principal there.

"(It was) just even more special to have Hannah come to our school," she said.

Chase Haigler, Hannah's brother, also brought books that were donated to the school library.

"What Hannah did is priceless...you cannot put a pricetag on what she did," Benson said.

--Reprinted with permission from the Enquirer Journal.

Written by: Carolyn Steeves, Enquirer Journal education reporter
Posted: Dec 20, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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