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Advertisement Local student collects books for hurricane-ravaged libraries
by DJ Kauffman Correspondent · November 9th, 2017


Thousands of books were recently cast upon waters stirred by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, with the True Cross Catholic School library in Dickerson, Texas alone losing more than 15,000 volumes.

In light of this tragedy, Linn County 4-H Junior Secretary Selena Killham, 13, decided to put library books back in the hands of Texas and Florida readers.

Selena said her 4-H project idea was sparked by a recent Excelsior Middle School hurricane book drive, led by her library teacher Miss Hart, who collected and sent hundreds of donated books to Houston by truck in September.

With this in mind, Selena first collected about 100 books from her home, grandmother, church group, and persons at the Linn County Extension Office. Since then, she has amassed 1,130 additional books and still counting. She would like to place a donated bookmark in each book as well, said Selena's mother, Sheila Killham.

With her mother's help, Selena reached out to the Marion Public Library during this year's Swamp Fox Festival for assistance. Madeline Jarvis of the library, gave them information from several Texas and Florida library association websites where spreadsheets listing specific school and public libraries in need were posted.

From the list of possible Texas libraries, Selena has selected Torres Elementary, Henderson Middle School, Aransas Pass ISD, and Ellis Memorial Library. In Florida, Selena chose to help Dr. Henry E. Perrine Academy of the Arts in Palmetto Bay. Her mother stated she chose them "...because they serve underprivileged children in their area. They lost their book collection due to mold. This school gave us a specific listing of books that they need to help them continue to educate the children who come to their school."

Both Selena and Sheila have been making and decorating pumpkin cookies for sale to help the Perrine Academy purchase specific books. Fundraiser cookie prices are $25 per dozen. Search Hurricane Book Drive on Facebook in the Marketplace for more information.

In addition, Selena is hoping someone will offer to transport the donated books to Texas and Florida after the first of next year. According to Sheila, they have sent out emails, posted online requests, and have written letters to several different trucking companies. "We have heard from a couple, [and are] waiting for their response," she said.

Donation sites for new and gently used books (non-coloring), as well as bookmarks are the Marion Public Library and Linn County Extension. Donations are welcomed through December 31.
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