A new ministry in Carroll County is going one better than the path to heart by one’s stomach. It’s paving the path to literacy with books. “The Book People of First United Methodist Church” in Hillsville project has set a goal of becoming known for distributing books throughout Carroll County, free of charge.
Project Facilitator Susan Fairhust said Pastor Robert Smith approached her with the idea of a book ministry with a goal of donating a book to every child in Carroll County (in grades K through 12).
“It’s been fairly slow getting our effort ready,” said Fairhurst, who said as things progress the group will be looking for more volunteers to process donations of books (money donations are also accepted).
She said the group is looking for donations of new and gently-used books and will rely on the cooperation and guidance from the Carroll County School district as books are given out class by class from school to school. More than 80 books have been received with the project just shy (around 40 books) of having enough to begin. The books will be given out, free of charge, to children ages 4 years to 18. Donations of religious-themed books will be available at the Pantry.
Books will also be collected for younger ages to be given to children who come to the Carroll County Ministerial Association Food Pantry at the FUMC in Hillsville. The books become the property of the child unless they wish to return it to the classroom or Pantry in exchange for another book.
“If we receive donations of money we will use the funds to buy more books,” Fairhurst said. “All of my kids read. I always have a book with me and my family are all avid readers. Books change lives. They open your mind to so many possibilities.”
She said the group has a Facebook page (The Book People of FUMC).
Fairhurst said one of the things which inspired the effort was the publication of an article on the Internet citing Carroll County as one of the poorest areas in the State. She said getting a book is an important part of supporting literacy for a child.
“What we’re trying to do is, say there’s 30 kids in a class, maybe get books to the teacher or an individual to match the book to a child’s interests. We are still working this out,” Fairhurst said. “We’re hoping to get extra books so a child can swap out a book if they want something different. We’re hoping for the first class to get books sometime in the next two weeks. We’re really looking for some more books with themes for boys.”
Fairhurst said the group plans to ask church members to donate books and or money as well as local businesses, and has already received books from the Hillsville Library. Persons who wish to donate books may drop them off by the church office. More information may be obtained by contacting Fairhurst at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Church’s website is www.hillsvillefumc.com.
She explained the other goals of the project are to encourage reading for pleasure, to give a sense every child in Carroll County deserves a book to call their own, promote giving which impacts several generations, encourage families to read together and discuss what they have read, and to encourage other organizations to implement programs on their own.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.