New Chapter In Reading


We’ve all heard a picture is worth a thousand words, but when it comes to books, that’s a whole nother story. 

At Hawthorne Elementary in Sioux Falls, that story has a happy ending. 

You don’t have to read between the lines to see how excited these students are. That’s because they get to pick out two books to take home for free. 

“The look on their faces, when they know they get to keep this book, especially when they find a book they love, just the eyes get big and they get so excited and smile,” Librarian Crystal Arntz said. 

Crystal Arntz is the librarian at Hawthorne Elementary.  She’s been collecting books for 14 years to give to students who are less fortunate.  

“The first year we had a little boy who took the book home and he brought it back and forth to school, found out that was the only book he had, and it just broke my heart,” Arntz said. 

From that day forward she knew she had to get as many books as possible.  

“I started going to garage sales, used book stores, wherever I could find books and ask for any donations that I could,” Arntz said. 

Over the years, she’s given away thousands of books. 

Principal Stephanie Jones says it started a whole new chapter for the school’s reading program.

“We have many families who can’t afford to buy books for their kids, so this is just one way we can assist those families to help create those life long learners,” principal Stephanie Jones said. 

You can’t judge a book by its cover, nor can you judge a librarian by her title. 

“Mrs Arntz brings a real passion to our kids for reading and that excitement that we want all kids to have about reading, to become life long readers, because we know that’s such an important skill for our kids have,” Jones said. 

“I’ve been doing it for 14 years and I’m going to do it as long as I’m here,” Arntz said. 

So if you have gently used books, that are elementary appropriate and you’d like to donate, you can just drop them off at Hawthorne Elementary. 

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