ASHLAND – Two organizations at Ashland-Greenwood High School teamed up to bring smiles to the faces of youth in Ashland and Greenwood.
The Ashland-Greenwood FFA chapter and the FBLA group partnered in a “Look 4 a Book” program, where they hid children’s books throughout the communities.
AnnaLisa Estrela, the Ashland-Greenwood FFA advisor, saw the concept on Facebook and presented the idea to her students and the school’s FBLA advisor, Amber Dutcher. The Look 4 a Book program began in the United Kingdom earlier this year, and caught on like fire through social media.
The FFA and FBLA students gathered 160 children’s books that were donated by people in the school district. They put them in plastic zipper-top bags with a note that says, “Congratulations! You found a book. Please take me home to read me, and when you’re done, please re-hide me for others to find. If you want to keep me, that’s fine, but please hide one of your own books so that others can join in too! Happy Reading!” The hiding began in early October.
Once the books are found, the note encourages the young readers to hide them again for other children to find.
The books were placed in three locations – the Ashland-Greenwood Elementary School playground, Wiggenhorn Park in Ashland and the Village Park in Greenwood.
The books were hidden twice during a two-week period in October, to take advantage of the autumn weather.
“We figured we would just do the hiding or act of hiding books for about two weeks because there could potentially be poor weather,” said
Estrela. “We don’t expect people to keep up the acts of hiding books throughout the winter.”
Look 4 a Book is geared towards young readers, ages 5 through 13, who are eager to enter the world of fascination by reading new material.
“It brings excitement to the kids and keeps reading fun for them,” said Estrela.
Since the books were hidden, the FFA and FBLA members have heard many stories of children happily discovering the hidden books, Estrela said.
“The elementary teachers have shared that the kids love finding books and are super excited about it,” said Estrela. “The buzz on Facebook seems to be positive from parents. They shared their appreciation for us doing this event.”
Olivia Smith was definitely buzzing when she found her book.
“Olivia found a book and was SUPER excited,” said Olivia’s mother, Ashland-Greenwood Middle School teacher Jennifer Smith.
The program has received a lot of positive feedback. So much so, that the FFA and FBLA chapters plan to hide books again in the late spring before school is dismissed for the summer.
Books can be donated for the Look 4 a Book program by dropping them off at the high school. Gently used books are fine, as long as they do not have torn pages and no coloring or drawing has been done on the book.
- AG FFA Reporter Trinity Rowley contributed to this report.