MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The Lauderdale County School District got quite the surprise from a book store in town. Books-A-Million held a book drive, where customers purchased books and donated them for the cause.
“We will take these donations and when we have students that come into our district that maybe don’t have a home or are considered homeless, we always give them backpacks and school supplies. But we're going to add a little extra something to their backpacks this year with this donation. So each child will get a book donated by BAM," says Dr. DeShannon Davis, director of federal programs for Lauderdale County School District
Davis says this could make a world of difference for students who may not have access to books at home.
“Research shows that children that come from poverty or homeless situations don’t have books in the homes, And I think we take for granted a lot. When I was growing up, books were readily available in my home and so to see these children get the books and they know that they’re theirs and they can take them home and read them and keep them is just really a special time for them," says Davis.
Other books will be given to school libraries for children to read.
Angela McHenry, principal at Clarkdale Elementary, says the district has a budget for libraries, so the extra books will help.
“The main thing we like to do is to grow and encourage young readers and the more resources we have to do that the better,” McHenry said.
Employees at BAM says they far exceeded their goal of donations.
Books-A-Million assistant manager, Ernest Ross, says being able to help out teachers hits close to home.
“Oh it means a whole lot. If it wasn’t for the community we would not be here, period," said Ross. "Educators, I mean they have a special place. My dad was an educator and I’d always say, teachers have a special place in heaven.”
BAM also has an educators program for teachers. All they have to do is sign up and they can get 20% off anything in the store.