S.P. Morton Bright Starts child Ari Martin smiles big as Librarian Patricia Rideout hands him his four free books that were obtained by the school through grants. -- CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS
S.P. Morton Bright Starts child Ari Martin smiles big as Librarian Patricia Rideout hands him his four free books that were obtained by the school through grants. -- CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

Archived Story

Librarian brightens the day of elementary students

Published 10:18am Friday, June 13, 2014

FRANKLIN—For Patricia Rideout, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were special for the S.P. Morton Library. Rideout often gives books to students, but in most instances the children have to bring the books back.

That wasn’t the case for this occasion, as thanks to a couple of grants received by the school, every child was able to walk home with four age-appropriate books.

“I’m really happy,” said 4-year-old Brittany Watson. “I’m happy because I get all of these books. I really like Winnie the Pooh.”

S.P. Morton Principal Dr. Debbie Harris Rollins came to Rideout earlier in the year with the idea of helping build the personal libraries of the school’s children.

Rideout then discovered the First Book Organization, and applied to enter the program. Once accepted, the school was given a major discount on books. From there, she only had to seek funding, and it came in the way of a grant from the Suffolk Elks Lodge No. 685. Rideout said she was thrilled with the excitement level in the school.

“Students were so anxious to open their packages of books and begin reading immediately,” she said. “One teacher reported that her students told her they would rather read their new books when given a choice of watching a movie or reading.

“One class of fourth graders wrote thank-you notes about their new books, and many students have stopped me in the hall to tell me which book is their favorite and how many chapters they have read.”

Five-year-old Ahmad Edwards was thrilled when he found out he could take them home.

“I’m so happy,” he said. “I really like to look at the books and the pictures inside.”

Editor's Picks