Panola County Book Blessings is in its sixth year | Lifestyles

The sixth annual Book Blessings Project is in full swing. The community-wide project is a program to distribute free summer reading books to all kindergarten and first grade students in the Panola County School District.

Book Blessings is also contributing $1,000 to each of the districts to be used for hands-on reading materials. Carthage, Beckville, Gary, Elysian Fields and Northside Academy will participate this year. April 22-26 are the dates for this year’s book fair.

About 700 students will participate in this literacy program. For each student to receive seven books, 4,900 books are needed, plus enough additional books so that the last group of students has as good a selection as the first group of students.

Including this year, 22,900 books will have been selected by students and given free of charge to their parents or school districts. By the end of this year’s book fair, 3,700 students will have participated in the program.

Book Blessings is funded entirely by Panola County residents or people with ties to Panola County. All donations go to the book fair and activities. For five years, Panola County has demonstrated its love for its students by giving enough to fund the annual expansion of student services. Last year, Book Blessings added teacher book bags for each participating teacher. Each bag contained a group of books for teachers to read, discuss with their students and share with other teachers.

“Getting students excited about reading is the goal of our program,” said Merry LaGrone, one of the Book Blessings volunteers. “When one of the students said about the book fair, ‘Best day ever!’, we knew our work was successful.”

“Having the ability to read well and enjoying reading have proven to be two of the key factors for success in school and in life,” LaGrone continued. “It is imperative for their success that students reach reading level by the end of third grade. Having their own books to read helps students achieve that goal.”

You can donate books at the following locations:

  • Methodist Churches in Panola County
  • Carthage Primary or Beckville, Gary or Elysian Fields primary schools
  • Sammy Brown Library

Monetary donations can be made at Carthage First Methodist Church, with checks made payable to First Methodist Church Carthage with Book Blessings on the memo line.

Questions may be directed to First Methodist Church Carthage at (903) 693-5227. Deadline for donations is April 12. Volunteers are always welcome to help with the book fair.

Leave a Comment