SPENCER - Roane County communities came together last week and collected more than 16,000 books for school libraries for the first "Book Flood" event.
From Feb. 11-15, students, staff and residents donated books to supply each school's library, said Mickey Blackwell, superintendent of Roane County Schools. This is the first book donation program held by the school system.
"The week began with amazing figures as the total number of books collected Monday, Feb. 11, was 1,248," Blackwell said. "However, the week continued to show great promise as students continued to deliver large numbers of books to their school. At the end of the five-day event, Roane County Schools accounted for 16,079 books."
Spencer Middle School students, standing, from left, Kyle Parsons, Emma Parkin, Dillon Greathouse, and Emily Chandler, kneeling, were the top book donators for the first “Book Flood: A Project to Flood Our Schools with Books” event.
Spencer Elementary School collected 4,861 books during the week, Geary Elementary/Middle School collected 4,621, Spencer Middle School collected 3,421, Walton Elementary/Middle School collected 1,833, Reedy Elementary collected 1,094 and Roane County High School collected 249 books.
The schools collected many different books covering a wide range of subjects and topics.
Officials separated the books going to each school library or classroom. Other books that may not have been age appropriate for that school were moved to another school where it could be used.
* The schools are still taking donations. People can donate books or money to buy books for their schools.
* People can contact the board office at 304-927-6400 for more information.
Books that are not used will be donated to the Roane County Library to be used in its annual Book Sale fundraiser.
"We found a home for every book," Blackwell said.
The event has been planned for a while and originally officials thought they would have done well if each one of Roane County's 2,400 students brought in one book, Blackwell said.
"However, to get over 16,000 books, that is a real accomplishment," he said. "This event has been a tremendous success.
"This is the first time we held this event and it certainly won't be our last."
Blackwell credits the community for really stepping up and helping the schools.
"Everyone pitched in," he said. "This was a community wide effort. I extend a sincere thank you for the efforts shown by everyone involved with this project and especially those who donated books to this worthy cause. Over and over, our students, staff and community, have proven a worthy dedication to achievement and excellence."