Thompson teacher’s legacy lives on through books

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nan Pitts loved books.

Pitts also loved sharing her passion for reading with the students she taught at Thompson Elementary.

That’s why Pitts’ daughter, Anna Brown, and Thompson Intermediate School Media Specialist Heather Kirk have collaborated to set up a memorial fund in the name of Pitts to purchase books and other materials for the TIS library.

Pitts was diagnosed with brain cancer in December 2000, and the prognosis was grim.

“The doctor told us she wouldn’t live for another year,” Brown said.

But like her passion for reading, Pitts had a passion for life and defied the doctors by surviving for another nine years.

Pitts passed Feb. 28, 2010, but Brown said her mother continued to read books throughout her nearly decade-long battle with cancer.

“She would pick a book she liked, and she would read it over and over,” Brown said with a laugh. “Books were so important to her her whole life.”

Because of that love for reading, Brown and Kirk established the Nan Pitts Memorial Fund, and the fund has brought in $945 towards new books in the TIS library.

The school has already purchased many books from the funds raised, including science and math materials, which was Pitts’ favorite subjects.

The money has also been used to buy fiction novels and book series.

“Book series were one of her biggest loves because she loved to get the kids hooked on reading,” Brown said.

A memorial bookplate has been placed inside each book purchased with the funds, and the bookplate is inscribed with the Charles W. Eliot quote, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

Anyone who would like to donate to the fund can send a check to Thompson Intermediate School, Attn: Heather Kirk, 10019 Highway 119, Alabaster, AL, 35007, and include Nan Pitts Memorial Fund on the memo line. For more information, call 682-5720.