It felt strange, but also very good, for Richard Barton to be back inside Anne M. Jeans Elementary School July 30.
The Rotary Club of Hinsdale member’s children attended the Burr Ridge Elementary District 180 school many years ago, and Barton has had no reason to return — until now.
He was at the school when summer school students received books that were purchased with a $2,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Hinsdale. Each of the 162 summer school students received at least three books to take home, read, and keep in their personal libraries.
“It’s very nice to come back for something like this,” Barton said. “We were actually asked for a $1,000 donation, but I promoted it to $2,000. I thought this was a great idea. The kids get books to read; it’s education. Reading is very important.”
Books were purchased after students completed a survey at the start of summer school, asking what types of books they enjoy and the titles of favorite books.
“A lot of them don’t have books at home,” said Julie Schneider, an Anne M. Jeans School teacher who worked with summer school students. “Having their own books to take home and keep and getting them as gifts makes them feel special.”
And the students receiving books seemed to be pleased with the chosen titles they were given.
“Yeah, they picked good ones,” said fifth-grader Jakarrey Lucas. “I really like that we get to keep them, too.”
Fifth-grader Trinity-Lynn Glasgow said she was very pleasantly surprised when she went to summer school and found out she would be getting some books to take home.
“It’s fun to have new books we can read, and I love to read,” she said. “It’s really nice that we get to keep the books, too.”
Adam Parrott-Sheffer, the new principal at Anne M. Jeans School, said the books were a great reward to students who have worked hard in summer school.
“I am new, but they’ve been changing the message about summer school,” Parrott-Sheffer said. “They have done things to make it more fun for the kids. They have been on field trips, and getting the books to keep is really great for them.”