Books and more books

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

Katy White, a fourth-grader at Chelsea Intermediate School, has a passion for books and missions.

So she combined the two and collected books to share with other kids.

Katy’s “mission,” Project Share-A-Story ,collected 6,871 new and gently-used books.

“We‘re through collecting, said Katy, whose family garage is overflowing with books. “Now we’re sorting them.”

The project was Katy’s idea, her mother Aubrey White said. “She wanted to do something to help people. But we never thought she would get so many books. This is a Jesus thing.”

Katy said her parents have been a big help, as have her teacher Jessica Stewart, school counselor Cindy Smith and school librarians Jill Mitchell and Robin Plyler.

“And Sarah (Swee) went around to classes with me and helped me talk about it,” she said.

Chelsea fourth-grader Katy White and her parents, Aubrey and Justin White, are working to sort almost 7,000 books collected by Katy’s Project Share-A-Story. Pictured with them, while sister Anna Grace is in class, is her little brother Will, who also tries to help, Katy said. (Special/Shelba Nivens)

Fourth and fifth grade classes competed to see who could bring in the most books.

“Ms. Greer’s class was fourth-grade winner and Ms. Ramsey’s class was fifth-grade winner,“ Aubrey White said. They will receive a pizza party. Chelsea KFC donated free parfaits to all fourth-and fifth-graders.

Her mother helped organize everything, Katy said.

As books were brought in, they were stored in a room of the school library.

Her parents picked them up each day, took them home, then to their church, Liberty Baptist, where they are sorted and categorized by gender and reading level.

Most of the books are for children and teens. They will be distributed to kids through Chelsea Schools, while some are donated to school libraries and Chelsea city library (Shelby County Library system.)

They would like to give some to hospitals, and other groups that might distribute them to children who have illnesses or don’t have access to many books. “Books are expensive, and with the economy the way it is, this should help a lot of people,” Katy’s mother said.

They have also talked about starting a book exchange between day cares in the community.

“My faith and loving books made me want to collect books for other kids,” Katy said.

Nine-year-old Katy is very mission-minded, said her mother, but too young to go to the mission field, so she looks for missions close to home.

People wishing to suggest organizations for book donations may email projectshareastory@bellsouth.net.

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e-mail at Shelbasn@juno.com.