A fifth-grade class at Clark-Vitt Elementary took action when they saw something missing at the Union Food Pantry.

During a recent visit to the Pantry, Lisa Bocklage’s class saw a near empty crate next to the door. The crates had held books, but not anymore.

Pantry volunteer Jan Brennan said the books are free for children to read while their parents are at the pantry, but they also are encouraged to take the books.

“There were very few when the children from Clark-Vitt took the tour,” she said. “They saw that there were only four to five left.”

Brennan added that the children are encouraged to take the books so they have something at home to read.

“I saw my kids’ faces light up as they came up with ideas,” Bocklage said.

The students began a schoolwide book drive at Clark-Vitt and collected nearly 2,000 books during the final full week of class.

“It was pretty awesome,” said Bocklage. “They were really excited.”

She explained that the fifth-graders made posters that were hung at the school, and gave fliers to teachers. They also talked about the drive during the morning announcements.

A chart was added to daily marking the progress of the book collection.

“We tried to get everyone pumped up about bringing book,” said Bocklage.

She added that an email was sent to parents, which was a big help in collecting books at the school.

“I was amazed at how many books the kids brought in,” said Bocklage. “It was really awesome.”

The class had helped the pantry before with a peanut butter and jelly drive.

“They were so grown up when coming up with the plans,” Bocklage said.

She added that a popcorn party was offered to the class that brought in the most books.

“Our class won, but we gave it to the class that came in second,” she said.

Brennan added that the Union R-XI District has donated several times to the pantry.

“We appreciate this drive, and we appreciate the whole school district,” she said.