5:31pm

Mon May 7, 2012
The Commonwealth

11,000 Books Donated to Storm Damaged Counties

First lady Jane Beshear Monday visited West Liberty Elementary School in Morgan County to announce the overwhelming success of the Governor’s Office Tornado Relief Book Drive. To date, more than 11,000 books have been collected for schools affected by recent tornado damage, including a book contribution from Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company.

Damaged or destroyed schools receiving donations include West Liberty Elementary, Salyersville Grade School and Herald Whitaker Middle.

“Books and literature are necessary tools for learning, and we want to be certain that students and teachers in storm damaged areas have the resources they need,” Beshear said in a statement released by her office. “Thank you to Scholastic and all the state employees and other groups throughout our state who have truly stepped up to the plate to make this outstanding contribution. I never cease to be amazed by the generosity of Kentuckians and I know the schools, teachers and children receiving these donations are sincerely grateful.”

Two months ago, devastating storms and tornadoes ripped through Kentucky killing 24 people and injuring hundreds more. Many homes, businesses and schools were damaged, if not completely destroyed. Recovery efforts on the federal, state and local levels continue everyday to help rebuild damaged communities and Kentuckians from across the state are still dedicating their time, money and other resources to help victims.

In early April, the governor’s office launched the Tornado Relief Book Drive to help collect needed books for schools in storm damaged areas. State employees and other schools and libraries across Kentucky have donated more than 10,000 new and gently used books for the drive.

In addition, Scholastic donated 1,000 books to West Liberty Elementary School as part of the Tornado Relief Book Drive and in support for Beshear’s role as a “Reading Ambassador” for the Scholastic Summer Challenge reading program. Beshear has participated for the last four years in the program. She joins fellow governors’ spouses from across the country who have signed on in support of promoting summer reading to children throughout their state.

The Tornado Relief Book Drive will be extended to the end of May because many schools are holding end of the year book collecting events, Beshear said in the press release.

Book collection bins are located in the central lobbies of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Department for Libraries and Archives, State Central Lab, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the State Office Building and outside the Governor’s Office in the State Capitol.

Monetary donations are also being accepted for the book drive. People can make donations at Central Bank branches or mail them to:

Tornado Relief Book Drive
Central Bank & Trust Co.
300 West Vine Street
Lexington, Ky. 40507