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Kenowa Hills Teachers pass out 800 new books to kids on bus route

The new books were donated by Toys For Tots.

WALKER, Mich. — Kids are not physically in school, but that doesn't mean the learning stops.

Kenowa Hills School District went above and beyond to make sure kids had books to read. Friday, they passed out brand new books to kids on their bus routes. 

"As a teacher, I knew many of my kids don’t have books at home to read," said Brooke Johnston, a third grade teacher at Alpine Elementary. "And they can’t go to the library or be in the classroom to get new books, and it’s important they keep reading."

Johnston said they had been collecting used books to pass out to the kids since school was shutdown. She talked to a friend who works with Toys for Tots, who felt like what they were doing for the kids was wonderful. 

So Toys for Tots donated 800 brand new books to give to the kids.

"It helps them to be excited about reading, staying engaged in reading. If they can do that all summer, when we come back next year, they will be fine," said Johnston.

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During the week, the buses are also bringing packed meals for the kids on the route. These new books were loaded up onto those buses. 

"It's great," said Andrea Scheckel, a mom who's daughter grabbed a new book. "Especially from being away from their peers, it gives them something to look forward too. It’s like an extra Christmas present."

The books are geared toward readers from kindergarten through middle school. The teachers also give the kids a couple options to choose from. 

"I think it just helps to take some of the stress off what we’re dealing with right now," said John Gilchrist, director of finance for the district. 

Johnston dresses up in fun costumes when she joins one of the bus routes. The trip is also special for the teachers, many who haven't seen their students in months. 

"I miss them," said Johnston. "So, it's exciting to see them and talk to them. It's hard on all of us. Just to know they're okay, it helps."

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