HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 3, 2017 – Six-year-old Ariel Sellors-Cooper was in her first-grade classroom at Montlieu Academy of Technology when a group of High Point University students burst in with boxes full of books.
Sellors-Cooper was the first of her classmates to line up as the HPU students began unpacking the bundles of books. She quickly spotted the one she wanted, “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown. Hugging it, she went back to her seat and began reading aloud. “In the great, great, green room…”
It was one of nearly 1,000 books that High Point University’s Class of 2021 donated to local schools today.
“I really like reading this kind of book,” she said. “I was really excited when my teacher told us that we were getting new books.”
Through HPU’s Common Experience program, incoming students are invited to share their favorite book with a local child by donating a copy when they arrive to campus for the start of the fall semester. Each book contains a note on the inside front cover written by a current HPU student.
The books were distributed at Montlieu Academy of Technology, Parkview Elementary, Laurin Welborn Middle School, Northwood Elementary, Fairview Elementary and T. Wingate Andrews High School.
Scott Wojciechowski, director of first year residential education, and a group of HPU students dedicated time to make the deliveries.
“Within their first days on HPU’s campus, we ask students to participate in a community service project through donating these books,” said Wojciechowski. “That re-instills the university’s values of service and caring for others, and it’s important to us that students are immediately introduced to the High Point community.”
Through cheers of excitement, HPU students unloaded boxes of books into the hands of elementary and middle school students, receiving lots of smiles and plenty of thanks.
Carley Hand, a first-grade teacher at Montlieu Elementary, looked on as her students flipped through stacks of books.
“My kids love to read, so we are very glad to get these,” said Hand. “I can tell that they definitely get excited over new books.”
HPU junior Stephanie Smith, president of HPU Peer Mentors, the campus group responsible for coordinating the book collection, took part in today’s book deliveries.
“I’m thankful to attend a university that acts on its dedication to providing an inspiring environment, created by caring people,” said Smith. “Seeing the smiles, the direct impact of our collection efforts, is like seeing a kid on Christmas morning. It’s really touching.”