On Read Across America Day, the Sawnee Woman’s Club and Reaping Nature Educational Outreach Foundation partnered to deliver more than 440 books to students at Chestatee Elementary.

SWC’s Conservation Department Chair and Reaping Nature Executive Director Denise Carleton explained that Chestatee Elementary is a Title I school and many student struggle with reading difficulties. She led an effort to collect new and gently used books from across the Forsyth County community. Then, she was aided by two SWC members, Sheree Crowe and Paula Glover, to sort the donations into appropriate grade levels and package three books per student into reusable bags supplied by SWC and Reaping Nature.

Read Across America Day is closely aligned with Dr. Seuss’s birthday and is meant to inspire young people to enjoy reading and to continue practicing to become better at doing it. On Monday, March 3, Denise and Paula delivered the book-filled bags to excited students at Chestatee.

“The kids gathered in the library to pick up their bags, then lined up to take a picture with us,” says Glover, SWC Vice President for Membership. “When the counselors asked the kids to thank us for bringing them so many books, the little girl next to me smiled so wide and threw her arms around me in a giant hug. My heart was filled,” she adds.

“I think this is one of the most incredible things I’ve done and been a part of,” says Carleton. She was so inspired by the Read Across America Day festivities at Chestatee that she wrote the poem below:

read-across-america-poem