Crossville Elementary students get a donation of 650 books to encourage a love of reading

CROSSVILLE, Ala. -- A donation to Crossville Elementary School students is starting a love that can take them to new worlds.
Inside a classroom at Crossville Elementary School, students stare expectantly at school counselor Lesa Simpson. "Don't break it, don't rip it, what else?" She asks.
The students are in for a surprise. "What do I want you to do with it?" Simpson asks.

"Put it in a book bag," one of the students says.

"And practice what?"

This time, there's a chorus of little voices: "Reading!"

This is a surprise that can take these little minds to new places. "Mountain Lakes division district of the United Methodist Church had a project going on," Simpson explains, "They wanted to get books to under resourced children grades K - 3."

Simpson filled out the application, and representatives from a local church showed up to the school armed with books -- 650 of them,  enough for one for each student.  "We're 100 percent free lunch, so a lot of our students might not have a book at home," Simpson says.

Back inside the classroom, the students eagerly thumb through their books, recognizing letters, but maybe not words - yet.

"They were very excited when they got their books," Simpson says, "I explain this to the children when I go into the classrooms, about the importance of reading. It's also fun, because it opens up worlds they may not ever get to visit, or may not ever get to see."

It's a chance to learn and grow,  and maybe open a door to new worlds.