Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fayette Middle School Student Helps Peers in Jamaica Get Books

Growing up with immediate access to books through school, the county library, and bookstores, Adriannea Smith couldn’t believe it when she learned that her cousin had no books to check out at school. She decided then and there to do something about it.

Adriannea, an eighth grader at Fayette Middle School, and her family were visiting with relatives in Jamaica when she learned that students there do not have library books to take home. Her cousin told her that a ship from England comes twice a year with books that children can check out and return when it comes back.

“My reaction when I learned that children couldn’t get books was shocked. I couldn’t believe that they didn’t get books at their own school or that there wasn’t any bookstores around the block,” Adriannea says.

When she returned home, Adriannea approached her parents about organizing a book drive for Jamaica during Fayette Middle’s spring Literacy and Arts Fair. After securing permission from Principal Sharlene Patterson, Adriannea went to work making plans on how to publicize the event and get her classmates interested in participating.

“A couple of days before Literacy Night I handed out lollipops that had a label around them that said ‘Donate a book to Jamaica on Literacy Night!’ I handed out the lollipops all over the school to the kids and they were excited and said they would donate a book,” Adriannea explains.

Donate they did. Adriannea had a mental goal of collecting 250 books; her final total was 430. Students donated a variety of books including fiction, classic novels and resource materials such as dictionaries and grammar books.

Adriannea is an avid reader who enjoys fictitious crime mysteries and books about teen girls in school. She says books are something every student should have access to because they are as educational as they are entertaining.

“Books give students something to do in their spare time. They learn new things like words and have something to talk about with friends,” she says.

Adriannea is not done. Next year she will attend Fayette County High and hopes to have even bigger book drives. Any one who would like to help Adriannea with her quest to provide books to Jamaica can do so by contacting Anne Smith at 404-512-1770.

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