(part of a monthly series)

How did you first hear or learn about Books for Keeps?

I was the opening librarian for JJ Harris Elementary School and was approached by Leslie about bringing BFK to our school.  As soon as she said 12 free books for every student—I was hooked.  I think that  was in 2010.

How long have you been volunteering or serving with Books for Keeps?

When my husband was offered a position at HB Stroud as the assistant principal, I had to leave the media center position there.   When Leslie learned of this, she and a former board member spoke with me about being involved in BFK.   It was a tangible way to stay connected to reading and the students of CCSD.

Why did you choose to serve on the Books for Keeps’ board?

As a child growing up in rural Mississippi, books were my windows to the world.  I want children to have access to the same joy that I get when reading.

Have you had an inspiring/memorable interaction with a student since working with Books for Keeps? (This can be a direct interaction or something you observed.) If so, tell us about it.

There have been too many to name.  From the standpoint of a media specialist–I think the most heartwarming times are when kindergarten students come in and choose the biggest books that they can.   They lug those bags proudly back to their classroom and pour over them.   As a mother, my oldest son participated in BFK and he still had a couple of books from a distribution. He is now a senior and can still vividly recall getting books from BFK distributions.

What strengths are you bringing to Books for Keeps?

A positive attitude, a willingness to help and a love for children and books.

What is your favorite memory from working with Books for Keeps?

The energy that is generated when BFK comes into a building is palpable.  Distributions occur near the end of the school year. Everyone is tired, trying to finish up the year strong and BFK helps inject positivity into those last few weeks and days of school.

Do you have a keen childhood memory related to a particular book? Or an experience with reading – to yourself or to a loved one?

Two major experiences stand out for me from my childhood surrounding books.   I never saw any Disney movies in the theater growing up–but I read every adaptation and fell in love with the books and Disney.  The second experience involves my childhood friend, Chiquita.  We lived about 3 miles from each other.   We would meet in the middle of a field between her house and mine to exchange books.   We were both such voracious readers that it became almost a daily exercise  (literally and figuratively).  This saved our parents money and we had someone to discuss what we read.   Now that her kids are older, she has recently started traveling  more and wrote me stating that she was seeing all of the places we read and dreamed about as kids.   It gave me goosebumps and has inspired my own wanderlust.

What is your absolute favorite book?

How can you ask a librarian this?   So, I’m going to cheat a little….The Color Purple, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and the Harry Potter series are books that I can read over and over and discover something new each time.

What would you read if you could only read one book for the rest of your life?

I refuse to even contemplate such a dismal existence…