Youth Group Collects Books

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

April 13, 2006

Remember being read to when you we're a kid? A lot of you may, but today kids are reading to other kids, at least at Walker Upper Elementary School.

One group of young women at the school are so special to each other.

"They're African-American girls. [They're] fifth and sixth [graders]. We do a lot of things in G.I.F.T.," said Lauren Christmas, a student at Walker Upper Elementary School.

The group is called 'Generation Investing in the Future Today.' It meets twice a month at Walker Upper Elementary School.

"I think the best part is maybe just being able to do different things with the community, and different things with kids," said Jasayah Ruiz, a student at Walker Upper Elementary School.

One thing '.G.I.F.T.' is doing with kids is reading to them.

The 20-member club visits Johnson Elementary School to read to kindergarten and first grade students. The visits allow the younger students to learn by reading.

"It helps the kids to influence their reading. When we read to them, they are learning new words. They can learn lots of new things," added Christmas.

'G.I.F.T.'s influence stretches even further for the kids.

"In order to help those children continue reading throughout the summer was to gather books, and be able to give those kids books to take home over the summer," said Atalaya Sergi, the director of 'Generation Investing in the Future Today.'

The club started a book drive to collect books from their fellow students. They collect the books from all the classrooms, and count them each day. They'll deliver the books to Johnson Elementary at the end of the school year.

"I think it's really good to help the kids learn how to read," added Ruiz.

While the book drive is designed for students in kindergarten and first-grade, the program's director says she hopes the books will go to every student in Charlottesville.

The book drive will be held at Walker Upper Elementary School until May 26, 2006.

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