VERNON - Vernon Middle School recently got into the charitable spirit when they worked with the school’s media specialist Julie Stewart in October to host a book drive that was open to all students and staff at Vernon Middle and High School. In a few short weeks over 100 brand new books were purchased and donated to each classroom and the media center at Vernon Elementary School.

Stewart is no stranger to literacy promotion in public education. Having recently completed her sixteenth year as a classroom teacher she recently took on a new position as media specialist at Vernon Middle School. One of her first tasks as librarian was overhauling the VMS library to create an inviting space for all students with comfortable seating areas, current books, and game stations.

Stewart said having previously taught 5th grade language arts and social studies at Vernon Elementary School she knew there was a big need for quality literature in all classrooms.

“It is important for students to see peers, parents, and teachers enjoying quality literature – both reading and writing.” Stewart said.

Also a contributing author for the book Bold Humility, Stewart says that full access to print literature is essential for future student success.

VMS assistant principal, Ms. Becky Dickson, said there are many benefits to reading including vocabulary expansion, deepening of analytical thinking skills, improving focus and concentration, and strengthening social, emotional, and character development.

VES media specialist, Ms. Gail Seaboch, said she was grateful for collaboration between the schools.

“A huge thank you to Vernon Middle School staff and students for their generosity in donating new books to Vernon Elementary,” Seaboch said. “VES students are so excited with the new books and appreciate Vernon Middle for helping them become better readers and better prepared for when they later move on to the middle school.”