OSSINEKE - Though three days remain until the end of their school-wide book drive, students and staff at Sanborn Elementary School in Ossineke already have amassed nearly 2,000 books.
Sanborn agreed to be this year's partner school for the annual Newspapers in Education Book Sale sponsored by The Alpena News. As such, the school has been collecting books since Jan. 10 for the popular sale coming up Feb. 2 at the APlex.
"Everyone at the school really has gone above and beyond in collecting books for our NIE Book Sale," News Circulation Director Ken Pokorzynski said. "Thanks to their enthusiastic efforts, we are assured that our book sale will be a success and allow the newspaper to continue its long-standing program of providing free newspapers for educational purposes to a number of classrooms in the district."
Staff at the school got creative this year by offering prizes as an incentive for everyone to donate good condition used books. For each book that a student or staff member brought in, they received a ticket for a drawing for nearly 60 children's prizes and 20 adult prizes.
"The school has totally embraced the book drive," instructional assistant Esther Kindt said. "It's just been so cool when the kids come into the school in the morning with their backpacks and are carrying their bags of books."
Among those who responded to the call for donations of reading material were sisters Emma and Sophia Prevost. Thanks to the generosity of their great-grandmother, each girl was able to give 20 books apiece to the cause as did their two cousins, also students at Sanborn.
"I like to read," said Sophia Prevost, who has been eyeing some Kit-Kat candy bars that she hopes to win in the prize drawing that is slated for next Tuesday during a school assembly.
One of the biggest donors has been "Granny" Donna Mackey, a foster grandparent at the school who rounded up 206 books as of Tuesday morning.
"I've got more I'm going to bring in," Mackey said. "I've got thousands of books. Once I read them, I figure why keep them."
Instead of hanging onto all the tickets for the drawings for herself, Mackey has been giving away many of them to the students.
Another major donor to the book sale has been music teacher Nancy Everett, with 106 books.
The books from Sanborn will be combined with thousands of others donated by the public. The wide assortment of materials includes current hardcovers and paperbacks, cookbooks, DVDs, music CDs, VHS tapes and young adult/children's books.
The drive at Sanborn ends Friday. The Alpena News is accepting donations of books from the public through Jan. 28.
The NIE Book Sale is held in conjunction with the newspaper's annual Business Expo.
Diane Speer can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5691.