News 12 This Morning/Wednesday Dec. 18, 2013
(WRDW)--"What we're doing here makes a huge difference," said Loretta Childress. "But, if they don't have the books at home and can't practice it at home--especially over the holidays is a real key time for them--this makes all the difference in the world."
Giving students at Greendale Elementary a better opportunity to read at home is something reading recovery teacher Loretta Childress and all the faculty and staff at Greendale have been working toward for a long time.
Now, they've finally reached their goal,with the help of an editorial in a local paper that got the word out to the community about Greendale trying to get more books for their students.
"We wanted to do something really special with this," Childress explained. "We had over $400 I believe it was."
The more than $400 raised by community donations is allowing the first ever Santa's Books, where every student in the school will get a free book to take home for the holidays.
"This is truly what Christmas is all about," she said. "It's the best of the best feelings."
With books arranged for all grades, students came in class by class to choose their very own book.
Childress, who also serves as reading interventionist for the school, tells me the students there want to read.
"Some don't have books at home," she explained. "They were thrilled to get a new book. So, it's just a great gift for us."
And she says what means the most to students and teachers there--is the community support.
"As a teacher I believe that we can't educate our children unless it's a community effort," Childress said. "...unless it's all of us working together."
School officials tell me they're planning on doing Santa's books again in the future.
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