This year's Alpena News partner school for the upcoming Newspapers in Education Book Sale has wholeheartedly embraced the challenge to collect books for the perennially popular event.
Students, staff and parents at Lincoln Elementary School already have met their first goal of collecting 1,000 books toward the cause. Now they are working on their second goal of 2,000.
"The response has been incredible," said fourth grade teacher Kellie Poli, who is helping to coordinate the drive at the school. "We like to call ourselves the 'Lincoln Family,' and everyone has contributed staff, students and parents. We truly are a family that works together."
News Photo by Diane Speer
Showing off a few of the 1,000 books students, staff and parents at Lincoln Elementary School already have collected for the Feb. 4 NIE Book Sale sponsored by The Alpena News are these fourth grade students of teacher?Kellie Poli. Seated are Noah McKee and Samantha Jovanovic. Standing from left are Onatah Rude, Kiersten Wirgau, Tiffany Cherney and Devon Villeneuve.
Newspaper staff members each year conduct the book sale the first weekend in February in conjunction with the annual Business Expo. Both will be held this year on Feb. 4 at the Aplex.
Proceeds from the book sale enable The News to provide free newspapers all school year long to a number of classrooms in the region, including Lincoln School. The classes that receive the newspaper use it as an educational tool and often share it with multiple classrooms.
"Our third and fifth grade classes get the newspaper. After they are done with it, they put it in the hallway where kids pick it up all the time," Poli said. "We enjoy it very much."
The books collected by the school will be combined with the many donations from the general public that are being dropped off at the newspaper office. To date, hundreds of books already have been boxed and sorted. Offerings include everything from hardcover bestsellers and paperbacks to a wide assortment of cookbooks, VHS tapes, CDs and books on crafts, history, gardening, spiritual topics, self-help and travel.
Lincoln School is rounding up an ample supply of children's materials, as well as other kinds of books, to add to what will be sold at the book sale.
"I've been so surprised by how many kids have brought in books from their own books shelves at home. They already have far exceeded what I thought they can do," said Poli, who as an added incentive to students agreed to walk on her hands in front of the entire school should the 1,000-book goal be reached.
Since the school already has met its initial goal, Poli plans to stick to her word. Come Jan. 27, she will demonstrate her knack of walking on her hands at a school-wide assembly. She said a surprise also is in store for the students if the next 2,000-book goal is attained.
"This is something that they won't want to miss," Poli said of the newest incentive.
Students in Poli's fourth grade class have been doing their part to help with the drive. Many of them like to read and have favorite series of books.
"I like reading books because they have great adventures in them," said Samantha Jovanovic, whose mother has two boxes of books to donate set aside at her house.
"Reading is fun and you can learn things," said Kiersten Wirgau.
Onatah Rude is another student whose family plans to donate multiple books for the newspaper's sale.
"We have over 500 at my house," Rude said. "My mom keeps forgetting to bring them in. We counted them all."
Among the series that the students listed as their favorites are Dear Dumb Diary, Goosebumps and Judy Moody. Some of them also like chapter mysteries and books that have movies based on them.
The Alpena News is still accepting donations of books for the sale. They can be dropped off at the front office any time during regular business hours. The deadline for accepting donations is Jan. 27. For more information about the sale, call the newspaper at 354-3111.