For the love of books – Barriere Star Journal

Edith felt useless when she was fired. “I don’t have any skills except for entry-level jobs,” she whined to her friend Jan. “What am I going to do?”

“Start your job search and maybe do some volunteer work.”

“Are you kidding? I can’t work for nothing, Jan!

“I understand,” her arm slung around her friend’s shoulders. “What if you found something you love to do but never had time to do? Community service in the interim between jobs is rewarding. Wouldn’t it do you good not to earn salary ? “

“It is possible, since you say so. But who buys my gasoline? »

“I have an idea. Thomson River Elementary School is near you; let’s go and see if they might need any help.

“Hey, I’m not a teacher!” What would I do in a school?

“We will only know if we ask. And tomorrow before lunch? Edith was exasperated by Jan’s enthusiasm but agreed.

“Let’s find you a new hobby,” Jan blurted out when she showed up the next day.

“Ugh, drop your soap box, Jan!” I only have an hour; I promised to finish some posters for a religious event.

“So…you make posters?” »

“Yeah, they’re pretty simple: print some info, draw a little sketch, highlight with lots of color, and voila, you’ve got an attention grabber. It’s nothing, but I said I would.

At school, they introduced themselves to the secretary who took them to meet the librarian. Ms. Mae looked harassed. “We just got a truckload of books, and I have people putting up shelves, a few parents and retirees painting the walls, cataloging the shipment and helping me with the card systems. I’m sorry, but I have all the help I need.

On the way home, Edith chuckled in satisfaction. “Well, that was a dead end. Do you have any other great ideas, Jan?”

Writhing her mouth, Jan simply nodded… then, as if a light bulb had gone on, she stopped short. “Hey, we just need to go home for a minute.”

“And now?” Edith was lagging behind. What else could she want to ask?

Amidst the chaos, Ms. Mae looked up, “You’re back.”

“Yeah, uh, would you consider Edith creating posters advertising those new books you have?” These freshly painted walls are beautiful but they are quite bare.

“Woe,” nudged Edith. “Just wait a minute! »

“Don’t interrupt me, Edith. I saw your sketches; I am a person to whom you did not hide your creative side!

Ms. Mae raised her eyebrows with interest as Jan shared, “If the school can provide supplies such as colored markers, India ink and poster board, Edith has the time and talent to create posters !” Turning to her friend, she asked, “How are you, Edith?” They stared at each other.

Ms. Mae did not hesitate and accepted the proposal. Jan’s heart pounded with nervous excitement. Just two weeks later, a reporter with a passion for human interest stories answered a call from the school to interview those involved in the project to raise awareness of their ‘Raise a Reader’ campaign.

After the interview, Ms. Mae and a student ceremonially cut the luminous ribbon with her phrase, “For the love of books.” As they ruminated around the booths and attractive displays, parents, teachers and children admired the multi-dimensional posters identifying, in clever calligraphy, the titles of new books. Eyes widened at the creative depictions – caricatures, animals, fantasy scenes and story themes illustrated by Edith.

The community was abuzz about the campaign and the library’s new facelift when the full-page layout, complete with photos, appeared in a special edition of the newspaper. In a long column, Edith, Jan and dozens of others like them, who have given many hours to the campaign as volunteers, were announced.

Quoted in the article was Ms. Mae’s deep gratitude. “We could not have offered these services to our children without our wonderful volunteers! Thank you all for your generosity! You have made it a great learning environment to “raise a reader” for our young people! »

After the formalities, the eager children hugged bundles of books and gathered excitedly at the checkout tables.

~ By Rita Joan Dozlaw

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