Rock Hill Middle School students receive gift of reading

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2005

PEDRO — Sure, books may not be the most glamorous Christmas present, but the Literacy Team at Rock Hill Middle School hopes that some new reading material will instill in the students a gift with a much longer lifespan: a love of reading.

By redeeming bonus points from orders placed with book company Scholastic throughout the year, the Literacy Team, made up of several Rock Hill instructors, was able to pick up 1,155 books for the students free-of-charge. The books were distributed Monday afternoon to the sixth, seventh and eight graders.

“We’re happy with it, but of course we’re going to have kids who open it up and say ‘Eww, books,’” team member Denise Fraley said. “But we put some candy in there, too. We didn’t want to make it so boring.”

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Seventh-grader D.J. Wilson, for one, didn’t have any complaints about receiving the books, two or three for each student, specifically chosen for their reading level.

“It’s good because some people, their mom and dad don’t have enough money to get them books,” Wilson said. “Also, they can read it over the summer.”

Fraley said that was the idea behind giving the students books of their own, instead of making a gift to the school. Fraley said that she hopes having plenty of reading material on hand will keep noses in books, even when school’s not in session.

If complaints from a few colleagues are any indication, the efforts of the Literacy Team seem to be working.

“I’ve had teachers come to me complaining, and I loved it,” Fraley said. “They said ‘They’re not doing their work because we can’t get them to put the books down,’ and I just thought, ‘Woo hoo, that’s a good complaint!’”