Volunteers Jessica Beebe, Kathy McDaniel and Julie Brown handed out books at the former Glenwood Elementary School on Friday.

Danville Riverview Rotary, Danville Public Schools, DPS Education Foundation, Danville Public Library, Friends of the Library, Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania County, and local volunteers teamed up recently to provide local students with reading materials in cooperation with the schools’ meals distribution program.

“With the schools having to close, parents have faced the difficult task of continuing their children’s educations while providing for their family and weathering an unprecedented global health concern,” said Martha Walker, Rotarian and project coordinator. “It truly takes a village, and Riverview Rotary's initiative is part of a community-wide commitment to building strong readers who will develop into the great leaders we know our children will be.”

Over 50 volunteers from Rotary, the school system, the library, and the community handed out around /2600/ books at the 13 locations serviced by the Danville Public Schools’ meals distribution program. While the majority of books were purchased by Rotary with funds from a Rotary District grant, the Doris Wilson Literacy Fund with the DPS Education Foundation, and the Friends of the Danville Public Library, a large portion was donated by Danville Public Library.

“We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to assist Riverview Rotary in this project,” said Russell Carter, interim library director. "As a parent myself, I have been encouraged by so many people in this community and the region doing whatever they can to help my children, who undoubtedly will be stronger on the other end of this. Being able to continue to provide services and assist in endeavors such as this, gives us all hope for tomorrow.”

Walker and company met on the morning of the giveaway at College Park Baptist Church to pick up the books ranging from picture books to teen readers and distributed them among the 13 sites. As parents drove through to pick up lunch from the school system, volunteers gifted the students with books and added an additional treat to each person's lunch.

“Riverview Rotary is united with all of our partners to invest in our community,” Walker added. “We believe in our students and hope that in the years to come, each student will look back on this challenging time and remember the love that surrounds them.”

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