Geiger teacher’s summer reading initiative sparks community effort

Nicole Hunter’s Child Development class at Geiger Elementary proudly displays some of the books donated by the community for summer reading. | Photo: Nicole Hunter

Hunter

RIDGEWAY – What started as a request to friends on Facebook by Geiger Elementary School Child Development teacher Nicole Collins Hunter quickly turned into a community effort.

Hunter knew that most of her students would not have access to books over the summer and worried about them battling the ‘summer slide,’ so on March 26, Hunter posted a request to her Facebook friends.

“I need your help,” Hunter wrote. “Studies show that access to books during the summer prevents drastic loss in reading skill, especially for kids in need… I am determined to send my students home with five books for summer reading.”

Hunter’s students are excited to take their books home for the summer.

Hunter’s status was quickly shared by community members, and the effort was contagious. Her original goal of five books per student was swiftly met, and, as of May 8, Hunter has received 200 new and gently used books for her 15 students.

As a way of making the donated books even more special, Hunter asked that donors send a message with the books that she could share with her students. An anonymous Geiger faculty member purchased and donated canvas totes, which will be personalized in a collaboration with the art teacher, for the students to carry their books during the summer.

“Thanks in advance for helping instill a love of reading that lasts throughout a student’s life,” Hunter concluded in her Facebook plea.

To contribute to Hunter’s summer book drive, drop new or gently used books off at Geiger Elementary or mail to Nicole Hunter, Geiger Elementary, 150 T.M. Cook Lane, Ridgeway, SC 29130.

One student looks over his options as he chooses summer reading books.