DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — The kids at Meade Park Elementary School will have a big surprise waiting for them Tuesday morning.
The Order of the Eastern Star is the world’s largest philanthropic fraternal organization. They donated 75 brand new books to the school.
Megan Montgomery is a substitute teacher at Meade Park. She’s also a committee chairwoman for the organization. She saw a need for new books in the school and made it her mission to fill that need.
“It has a nice smooth cover, it has this wonderful smell, you open it up and there’s a treasure inside.”
These are the signs of a brand new book. At Meade Park Elementary, reading is a part their classes everyday.
Montgomery says, “We always want to encourage them to read more and more!”
These books are well-used and their pages have been turned many times through the years. Many teachers pay for them on their own.
First grade teacher Joanna Robinson says she’s spends thousands of dollars on books for her students, with her own money.
So to help lighten the load, the Order of the Eastern Star gave them 75 brand new books to stock their shelves. Each one has different lessons to learn between every cover.
Robinson says, “I always tell them that reading takes them to places they may never go.”
Elementary school marks a big turning point in a student’s education.
“I see a hesitancy at this age. They want to know how to read but they’re afraid of how to go about it.”
What better way to learn than to crack open a new book?
“When they see these new elephant and piggy books they’re going to really go crazy.”
Among all the other books in the school, 75 others may not look like a lot. But it means more than you might think.
“A lot of our kids don’t even have books at home or a library card. So for them to have a book here is really really meaningful.”
This donation is part of the Order’s “Reaching Out to Our Communities” initiative. More than 1,000 books will be donated to classrooms across the state. The Order of the Eastern Star of Illinois has around 12,000 members. Every year they raise funds for charities and initiatives like this book donation.