When the librarian emailed me a picture of one of the students holding a couple books from the Easter-themed order I'd sent in April, I was still smiling hours later when I showed it to Mike.
And when she mentioned in a thank-you note toward the end of last school year that the books had been a "life saver" since the school had no money in its budget for new books, I was even happier that I'd decided to start doing this. (That so many schools don't have enough money to buy books--or to maintain libraries at all--makes me shake my head.)
Since I wasn't sure when staff would be in the school building over the summer, I had the books and toys and dolls I'd ordered in June, July, and August mailed to Mike's and my apartment. It was fun but cluttered here this summer, then, until I could finally box everything up and we could walk it all to the post office a few weeks ago. A bow-headed Junie B. Jones had for weeks been staring at us from the rocking chair while we ate. A green-suited Geronimo Stilton mouse would watch us from inside a plastic bag until we nestled him down into a package. The hutch had become Sorting Central for some of the classic characters from my own childhood. Mike just shook his head whenever he spotted the latest googley-eyed stuffed animal on the wing chair or propped up on the dining table, but I got a huge kick out of seeing these characters' faces grinning all around us. I probably have more fun with all this than the books' and toys' recipients do. :)
I check the school library's online catalog before buying books so I have a better idea of what the students already have, what they need, which award-winners their collection is missing, and which titles and series and authors are the most popular. And I also look for donation-worthy-condition copies of rarer but beloved-to-me books I simply want the kids to have, like Fifth Grade Magic and Holly Hobbie's Cookbook.
One book at a time, the library grows.
If the time comes when the school can no longer support a library, as the hometown newspaper recently suggested as a future possibility for all the schools in the district due to state budget cuts--and "God forbid," and it would break my heart--I will just mail books to the school's teachers for their individual classroom libraries, I suppose. But (that would be harder and more expensive, and) I hope it never comes to that. Libraries matter. ♥
A new school year has begun, though, and like little Pinkalicious below, I wave my magic wand to the extent that I can, which isn't much, really, but again: One book at a time. And I look forward to the next nine months of finding titles and toys for the kids who are lucky enough to be this dear school's current students.