SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Karen Meadows is in her second year as librarian at E.B. Williams Stoner Hill Elementary school.
"We want to build a culture of reading," said Meadows. "We want to show them how important reading is."
With the school year winding down, Stoner Hill's annual book fair is the last opportunity for many students to get their hands on reading material for the summer.
"When school lets out for the summer, students can't access our library," explained Meadows.
Meadows says students are always excited for the book fair, and while there's always excitement, there's not always opportunity.
Meadows emailed a letter to three civic organizations hoping to raise money for the school's upcoming book fair.
The letter reads in part:
The response from this letter?
"It just literally went viral," said Meadows. "I mean I've heard that lots, but I've never experienced it."
What started as just 3 simple emails spread like wildfire on social media.
"I have had a lady as far as Ft. Worth, Texas offering donations. And these are all total strangers," said Meadows.
It even reached Government Plaza in Shreveport.
Shreveport City councilman, Jerry Bowman, shared Meadow's message on Facebook and hopes this is only the start of a trend.
"I was like 'wow' that sounds like a great idea," said Bowman. "I picked up two checks on my way here as a matter of fact so and really they're giving more than I thought they would and I really do appreciate it and I'm sure Karen and the kids will appreciate that too," he said.
Bowman says he simply wanted to bridge the gap and help get kids reading material, especially if they won't have access to books during the summer time.
Last year's book fair at Stoner Hill Elementary made just $300.
Because of Meadows' message, the school has received more than $900 in donations.
"It definitely touches my heart," said Meadows. "I'm already to the point where I'm going to be able to make sure at least every one of our students is able to purchase at least one book to have for this summer."
Meadows says the goal is to create a passion for reading among her students.
Stoner Hill Elementary has more than 8,000 books in their school library as well as Nook tablets which are electronic readers/media players.
"We want kids to know reading isn't something you do from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. five days a week," said Meadows. "We want you to learn to do this for the rest of your life and be life-long readers."
"If there's a school in your community, touch base with them, find out if they're having a book far, are their students in need?," said Meadows.
The E.B. Williams Stoner Hill elementary school book fair begins on Friday April, 29 and runs until Friday, May 6.
If you'd like to donate, make checks payable to E.B. Williams Stoner Hill Elementary School.
E.B. Willaims Stoner Hill Elementary Laboratory Professional Developmental School
2127 C.E. Galloway Blvd.
Shreveport, LA 71104
Volunteers are also needed for the book fair. To volunteer please call the school at 318-222-5317 and ask for Principal Michelle Franklin or librarian Karen Meadows.