40,000 Books donated for Central Texas families - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

40,000 Books donated for Central Texas families

SOURCE:KKXV SOURCE:KKXV
WACO, TX (KXXV) -

Hundreds of families and educators arrived at the Waco ISD warehouse Saturday for the Linda Bridges Book Drive, a free book giveaway.

The drive, organized by the Texas American Federation of Teachers (ATF) received a donation of 40,000 books from First Book. The event is named after the AFT's late President, Dr. Bridges, the group believes promoting childhood literacy honors her legacy. 

I had the opportunity to meet Linda Bridges and what a beautiful person she did a lot for the state so it's a wonderful opportunity for the state and the district. 

Volunteers cleaned up the warehouse, and spent several evenings unpacking the boxes of donated books. Current Waco-ATF President Pam Cooper said they were amazed by the sheer amount of books.

"We didn't know how much it was until they unloaded everything here and we saw all these books...One lady was even riding in on the pallets [of books]." Cooper said. 

Each family was allowed to take home five books per child. Teachers at Title-I schools were given the opportunity to bring 40 new books back to the classroom. 

Event organizer focused their efforts on including low-income families, who may not have the resources for new reading materials.

“Waco is an area with a lot of Title-I families,” Cooper explained. “Which means our families are from places where they have less money than other families. They're good students they just need the books in their hands and that's what we want to do.”

The event brought children from Waco, China Spring, La Vega, and McGregor. Organizer estimated hundreds attended. Stephanie Wright Smith, an ATF Organizer spent the better part of a year helping put together the event.  

“I had the opportunity to meet Linda Bridges and what a beautiful person she did a lot for the state so it's a wonderful opportunity for the state and the district.” Wright-Smith said.

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