JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The South Jones High School Beta Club celebrated Valentine’s Day with some “little” sweethearts in a project called “Fall in Love With Reading.”
The high school students were there to pass the love of reading down to elementary school students.
The Beta Club took a field trip and split up to meet with both Moselle and South Jones Elementary Schools on a mission to make reading fun for kindergartners.
“We want to make sure the kids really love academics because we are in academic club ourselves,” said Whitney Hinton, a senior at South Jones High School.
“They let you read all day, and you get excited to have books to read all day,” said Matthew Rizzo, a kindergartner at Moselle Elementary School.
The young students were all ears as their visitors made the characters in the "Little Engine That Could" come alive.
“The students feel like, ‘Wow! That little engine could do it, so can I,’” Hinton said. “It encourages them and sparks their love of reading.”
"They brought books, and I feel excited," said Jordyn Cole, a kindergarten student.
The high school students raised money to make the day happen. A fundraiser brought in over $1,000 to donate books, so every kindergartner left with one of their own.
“They loved it. They were like ‘Wow,’ all the little kids get all the candy and food and toys. They just loved it,” Hinton said.
The group took the time to sit with the students and write their names and messages in the books.
It was all an effort to help foster a love for reading in all the "little engines."
"It really makes me happy because I loved going to the library as a kid. For them to be able to have something they can keep and read over and build up their knowledge is great. It makes me happy," Hinton said.
"I'd like to tell them thank you for reading to all the students," Cole said.
The librarian at South Jones High School said they chose 'The Little Engine That Could' because it encourages kids to keep going and believe in themselves.
She also donated another book to them, so each child took home two.