IR aims for 1,000 in children's book drive

Date Published: 
October 26, 2012

Indian River High School students are sharing their love of literature with their elementary-school counterparts this month, in the first annual Leo Club Book Drive.

Coastal Point • Laura Walter  : IR Leo Club officers display a handful of children's book donations. Pictured here are, from left, Brooke Prendergast, Amanda Roadarmel, Rosie Rinker, Gopika Lakshmanan and Delaney McMullen.Coastal Point • Laura Walter
IR Leo Club officers display a handful of children's book donations. Pictured here are, from left, Brooke Prendergast, Amanda Roadarmel, Rosie Rinker, Gopika Lakshmanan and Delaney McMullen.

The Leo Club is a service organization connected to the Lions Club, and members are hoping to collect 1,000 books for local elementary schools by Wednesday, Oct. 31.

IR homerooms are already competing in the collection of new and used books. The Leo Club added some incentive: the class with the most donations wins a free breakfast.

Now, the Leos are reaching out to the community to make their final collection week an even bigger success, since every book counts. Anyone can clean out their shelves and give children’s books new life in a good home. Books can be dropped off at the high school’s main office, labeled for the Leo Club, or given to high school students to contribute toward the homeroom competition.

“All books are welcome,” said Brooke Prendergast, IRHS Leo Club treasurer. “You can drop them off. If anyone has leftover books, just bring them in!”

Donations should be “gently used, or loved,” said Delaney McMullen, Leo secretary. Coloring books are not being accepted, however.

Some books will be distributed to Phillip C. Showell Elementary School through the IRHS Honor Society mentoring program, so both sets of students will actually interact with the books together.

Delaney explained the importance of broadening children’s horizons through reading and giving kids a chance to read books that aren’t required in school.

The International and Fenwick Island Lions Clubs aim to increase literacy, especially in grade levels K to 5. The Lord Baltimore Lioness Club and Keenwik Ladies Organization have also contributed significantly to the collection process.

With more than 100 members, IRHS has one of the largest Leo Clubs in the area. The service group regularly assists at Fenwick Island Lions Club events, including the Selbyville Halloween Parade, which was held this week on Oct. 24, and the spaghetti dinner planned for Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Fenwick Crab House.

“It’s really fun, too,” said Prendergast of their work.

As the holidays approach, the Leos will also adopt a local family for which they will collect Christmas gifts, and they will collect toiletries for the Ronald McDonald House in Wilmington, where several members may even travel to distribute the gifts.

“Every year, we host a dinner for the visually impaired” with other Leo Clubs, said Prendergast. “We often help them get food, help them get in the Christmas spirit.”

For more information on the club, visit www.IRHSLeoClub.org. For those who wish to drop off books at the school, Indian River High School is located at 29772 Armory Road in Dagsboro.