Photo by Jolene Guzman
Carole Shavere picks out books to take back to Luckiamute Valley Charter School.
As of Tuesday, May 8, 2018
DALLAS — For the past year, members of Dallas School District’s classified employees’ association have been on a mission to put free books in the hands of children who might not otherwise have them.
Dallas Chapter 34 of the Oregon School Employees Association has been encouraging teachers, school employees, parents and volunteers to register with nonprofit First Book. The organization distributes new books to children in need.
The goal is 1,000 registrations. Once reached, a truck load of books is sent to the district to give away to children.
Gloria Lundin, a Dallas High School special education assistant, helped organize the effort and saw the fruits of that labor, 20,000 books, delivered on Friday.
“It has been a combination of OSEA and our classified chapter here in Dallas that was been able to bring the books to our community,” Lundin said. “Through the cooperation of the school district and everybody, we have been able to do this.”
The delivery included titles suitable for preschool- to high school-aged kids. Each person who registered can pick up 50 books to give to children. Lundin said the rest will be distributed to law enforcement, public health agencies, Head Start and other organizations that work with children.
“We make sure that the books get into the hands of the kids,” Lundin said.
Friday, a large group of volunteers gathered to unload and sort the books for the next day’s distribution. The “sorters” took their 50 books on Friday.
Carole Shavere, and Title I specialist at Luckiamute Valley Charter School, was shocked to find out how many books were delivered.
“There were 20,000? I didn’t know there were 20,000,” she said. “It was fun, and it didn’t take that long with some many people here.”
Shavere is taking the books back as prizes for a school carnival.
“I thought it was a really good opportunity to get books to children,” she said.
Krista Watson, who has children in Dallas schools, took part in the sorting party Friday, and was glad to leave with a box full of new books.
“I was really excited to get some new books for our house,” she said.
Lundin, who spend hours preparing for the sorting and book giveaway on Friday and Saturday, said she was happy to know that thousands of books will soon find a home with a young reader.
“We feel that this is a positive for our district and our community,” she said. “It’s very important to remember, it’s the kids.