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MORE THAN 800 BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
COLLECTED IN DRIVE

By Ralph Derickson

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"We originally planned to start small this year and make plans for a larger drive next year.  But the program just took off and we ended up exceeding all our expectations."

-- Josh Shepherd,
who helped organize
the UK College of
Education Student
Organization's part
in the book drive

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Dec. 19, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – More than 800 books were donated to the first Books for Children charitable book drive through the efforts of University of Kentucky student organizations and the enthusiastic participation of a Lexington middle school.

The drive, sponsored by the UK College of Education Coalition of Student Organizations and the UK Athletics Student Advisory Council, ended last Wednesday afternoon at Bryan Station Traditional Magnet School.

Event organizers were pleased with the public response to the Books for Children program.  “We originally planned to start small this year and make plans for a larger drive next year.  But the program just took off and we ended up exceeding all our expectations,” said Josh Shepherd, who helped organize the College of Education Student Organization’s part in the program.

Book collection bins were placed in key locations across campus.   The deadline for those donations was scheduled for Dec. 1, although there were several donations made after the deadline had passed.

Alyssa Weisberg, director of licensing with UK Athletics, led the Athletics Department's effort and also provided Books for Children substantial promotional support.  Just before the Dec. 5 UK basketball game against Eastern Kentucky University, students from the UK Athletics Department and the College of Education set up donation sites in the lobby area of Rupp Arena.  The UK Basketball Museum offered reduced admission prices in return for donated books.

Another significant contribution to the program came from an unexpected source.  Kim Plomske, reading specialist at Bryan Station Traditional Magnet School, contacted Weisberg and Shepherd while the drive was under way to inform them of Bryan Station’s plan to have a contest between classrooms to see which could attract the most books.

The winning class, teacher Marty Dixon’s first-hour class, collected 155 books; in second place was eighth-grade teacher Carol Calleb’s class that collected 138 books.  Overall, the students of Bryan Station Traditional Magnet donated more than 500 books to the Books for Children drive.

In return for their outstanding participation, the two winning classes will be treated to a pizza party with the UK Wildcat mascot in January.  Students also will receive posters of UK athletic teams.


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