New books make for more reading at High Point school

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Educators will tell you, it's not always easy getting children to enjoy reading. When the books available are out of date and out of shape it makes it even more difficult. Kirkman Park Elementary School is tackling this problem with help from the High Point Community Foundation.

Reading is enjoyable when you have the right books. “We got new books recently and they're really fun because there are books for little kids and older kids. I like scary stories and I like graphic novels,” said Anazia Nichols, a fifth grader at Kirkman Park Elementary School.

Kirkman Park Elementary School's media center was in need of a major overhaul.  “I asked for an audit of our books and from the district's perspective they told me the average age of our books here was 1977,” said Dr. Jamal Crawford, principal of Kirkman Park Elementary School.  For example, one book, titled

“I asked for an audit of our books and from the district's perspective they told me the average age of our books here was 1977,” said Dr. Jamal Crawford, principal of Kirkman Park Elementary School.  For example, one book, titled Fast Facts About Our Presidents, lists Dwight Eisenhower as the most recent U.S. President.

“This was really a two-phase process. The first phase was the physical phase. We were able to work with The Crossing Church to help us physically change the layout of the media center. The second phase was trying to find large-scale grants to buy large chunks of books,” Crawford said.

With help from the High Point Community Foundation and the Cory McInnis Compassion in Education Fund, the school purchased 1,500 new books.

“The fact that their library was so out of date it's really a sad, sad thing. So, I am very, very happy that it came here because these kids need up to date books,” said Jane McInnis.

Her son Cory McInnis passed away in 2005 after a battle with muscular dystrophy.  McInnis told FOX8, “We wanted some way to give back to the schools through the Community Foundation. It's a way to keep Cory's memory alive too.”

Now, students like Anazia Nichols can learn more by having a newer and more current selection to choose from in the media center.

According to Nichols, “There are a lot more books. Some of the books that we have we kind of messed up. So, getting new books was a good thing.”

Crawford said that while the generous donations made a tremendous improvement, there are still more books the school would like to purchase.