Last month, I met a teacher in Hutchinson, Kansas – Shannon Vieyra – via Skype in the Classroom. Ms. Vierya’s students and I spent forty or so minutes chatting about reading, creative writing, journaling, inspiration, brainstorming, first drafts and revision.
Skype sessions are always enjoyable for me, but a few really stand out. I come away feeling especially gratified, because the teachers and students are so enthusiastic and engaged. This was one of those visits. The children even sent me photos of their good deed project — baking and delivering thank you treats for school staff — an idea inspired by reading Baking Day at Grandma’s, and watching the book trailer.
Just days later, I learned the town had been hit by wildfires. Homes were lost. Families displaced. Many of whom are a part of the school’s community. You can read more about the Hutchinson wildfires here.
Ms. Vieyra and her students showed such empathy to their neighbors through the crisis, it inspired me to help as well. And while I understand no one can bring back everything these families lost, I believe that the kidlit community can help in a small way, by beginning to rebuild their home libraries. (And hopefully, lift their spirits.)
District administrators were kind enough to allow me to share basic information about children affected, and have given me permission to take up a book collection.
Authors, illustrators and publishing pals: if you would like to donate a book, please leave a comment below this post. Be sure to indicate: “I will donate (no. of books) to student 1.” All donations should be sent directly to the school, labeled with the corresponding student’s number, by APRIL 15th. We’re in need of picture books, middle grade, and YA titles, as the children’s reading levels span from pre-k to high school.
Student 1: kindergarten girl
Student 2: second grade girl
Student 3: kindergarten girl
Student 4: middle school girl
Student 5: high school male
Student 6: high school male
Student 7: high school male
Student 8: two year old
Attention: Shannon Vieyra
Plum Creek Elementary School
901 East 43rd Avenue
Hutchinson, KS 67502
My sincerest thanks to all who consider donating. I’m certain it will not only restore books to their shelves, but hope to their hearts.
*Questions? Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org