A Pacific video store has launched a Christmas giving idea that focuses on the beginning of children’s dreams, which impacts their success in school and in life — the world of books.
From the rhyming books that appeal to the very young, to the intricate tales that captivate fifth-graders, youngsters build their imagination on the early stories they encounter, according to Joella Beekman-Durphy, a Coleman Elementary student teacher, who organized the book drive.
Family Video, 295 N. Western Avenue (at West Osage), where Beekman-Durphy is an employee, will hold a book drive to benefit Coleman Elementary’s classroom libraries.
The store will collect new and gently used books for the month of December.
Beekman-Durphy suggested the book drive after store manager Tiffany Economon said the store should do a community service project for the holidays.
“We need to introduce children to the wonderful world of reading,” Beekman-Durphy said.
Economon embraced the book drive as a companion to Family Video’s annual Report Card 8, a program that encourages students to turn in good report cards at the store in exchange for free movies.
“We’re all about encouraging kids to read and to love stories,” Economon said.
The 30-day drive seeks to collect books for each of the kindergarten through fifth-grade levels.
In some cases, four to six copies of one book would help teachers use the book in literary circles, where a small group of students read a book and the teacher discusses things like sequence, plot and character development.
“It’s a more personal involvement way to read than have the teacher stand at the front of the classroom and lecture,” Beekman-Durphy said.
One of several UMSL student teachers at Coleman, Beekman-Durphy said she has worked with students at all grade levels and sees the value of the classroom libraries. There are four kindergarten classrooms at Coleman Elementary and three of every other grade level.
“All children should be afforded the opportunities that reading brings,” she said. “Many classroom teachers use authentic literature to teach reading strategies. It would be wonderful to have many books to choose from.”
The book drive could have the additional advantage of supplying books to send family book bags home that children take home and read as a family activity.
“Our children are not only our future, but our present too. We need to introduce them to the wonderful world of reading when they are young and help them to see the amazing adventure that awaits them,” Beekman-Durphy said. “Books inspire our children to dream. When you dream, you can believe and with that a world of endless possibilities await you.”
The store also will accept cash donations toward the book drive through Jan. 1, 2014.
For more information, contact Joella Beekman-Durphy at 636-234-8191.