Several local organizations teamed up Friday to deliver free books to Temple children.
Temple Education Foundation Executive Director Chris McGilvery runs a non-profit organization called Give More HUGS, which strives to help underprivileged children succeed in education. McGilvery organized the book share event as a way to make sure children have books to read during the summer.
“I think many of us can remember going to book fairs as a child and wanting to get this book and that book, but some students may not be able to get any books,” McGilvery said. “This book fair will give those students a chance to pick two or three.”
The free book fair took place at Wayman Manor Apartments in East Temple. More than 300 books were donated for the cause. McGilvery said each books came with a little something extra.
“What makes it unique is that we work with our community organizations to sign the books with inspirational messages to inspire students to do their best,” McGilvery said. “We hope the messages provide the words of hope and encouragement they need to know they can be successful through education and literacy.”
Give More HUGS joined United Way of Central Texas to inscribe more than 300 books with inspirational messages. United Way of Central Texas Director of Marketing and Volunteering Mary Beth Kauk said the book signing was a way for community members to reach out to the children.
“A lot of the kids who are receiving these books have never owned a brand-new book before, so we just wanted to encourage them to succeed in life and to know that education is the forefront of success,” Kauk said. “I think it was a wonderful way for volunteers to connect with kids in our community and send the message that they’re loved and the community cares for them.”
About 50 students participated in the event. Most of which were either Wayman Manor residents or members of the Un-Included Club. Temple resident Garfield Hawk started the Un-Included Club in 2007 in an effort to instill positive values in local kids.
“We’re against anything negative that can be harmful to our children. The only thing we’re un-included from is negativity,” Hawk said. “We take the kids out of their neighborhood and let them know they can become anybody they want to be.”
Gill Hollie is the coordinator of TISD’s Afterschool Centers on Education program. Hollie said many of the children wouldn’t have access to summer reading if not for the book share event.
“These kids on the east side of Temple can’t get to the library because they don’t have transportation,” Hollie said. “So this is the perfect opportunity for them to get some free books that they don’t have to pay for and don’t have to return.”