RIEGELWOOD — When it rains, it pours, and East Arcadia Primary Schools is running over with books.
On Friday, eighth grade students gathered in the media center at the school to count and place stickers in the books that were collected as part of the school’s “Give 5, Read 5” campaign, in which parents, businesses, and community members were urged to donate new or gently used books to Bladen County Schools so that students would have reading material over the summer and not fall prey to “summer loss.” The county-wide goal was 2,500 books, the goal for East Arcadia was 500, and an astounding 3,813 were donated to the one school alone.
“We’re still collecting,” said East Arcadia Principal Demetrice Johnson-Jones. “We’re giving some away tonight, but we’ll collect until the end of the year, and any students who don’t receive books tonight will receive them at the end of the year.”
“We’ll check with other schools, too,” she added, “and after we’ve given each of our students some books, we’ll see if other schools who didn’t collect as many need some.”
Johnson-Jones reported that, as a book lover herself, she began urging people to donate ahead of time and also had some books that weren’t being used that were put towards this program.
“I’m more than pleased,” stated Johnson-Jones, laughing. “Even after counting all 3,813 on Friday, I’m still more than pleased.”