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Through Literacy, Students Want All Children to Live "Happily Ever After"

During a discussion in North Scott’s Honors English III, the students realized one of the major benefits that helped enrich their love of reading and learning—many of them were surrounded by books growing up. The students in the class were read to at a young age and learned a love and excitement of reading before many of them got to first grade.

“We would read all the time, and my father would make all the silly voices,” said Ciara Brabant as she sat in class. “I still cherish those moments that I shared with my family reading together.”

“My family would all sit together in the living room, taking turns reading Harry Potter,” added Isobel La Corte. “Though we read separately now, my family still connects today by sharing great books and ideas.”

Because of the class discussion, the honors students decided to try to make a difference in the lives of local children who might not be surrounded by books, so they came up with an idea. They would give kid’s books to needy institutions and spread the joy of reading to children throughout the Quad Cities. Sean Chapman, who teaches the class, wanted to incorporate some element of giving back to the community as an assignment. He had asked them to come up with various service projects and work in different groups, but once the idea of the book drive came up, the entire class wanted to help. The students broke into teams: research, publicity, collection, and distribution. Then they got to work.

First, the class came up with a name for the book drive to reflect the affect that early reading has on children: "Happily Ever After"

The research team found studies that indicate that reading is a vital experience that can help shape a child’s life. Reading is a nurturing activity that brings parents and children closer together. Children also gain valuable communication skills from reading by watching how the characters interact. By reading a book, children learn how to sound out words and express themselves in a healthy way. The students found that early reading can also help students grow and raise the chances of becoming lifelong readers and learners.

The distribution team worked to put together a list of potential daycares, local preschools, churches, hospitals, and shelters where there might be a need for children’s books. They plan to collect books throughout March and April for these needy institutions.

Please drop any donations to North Scott High School in Eldridge, Iowa by April 30th. If you need someone to come by and pick up your books, the students want to know, and they’ll make arrangements to pick them up for you. If you know of any group or person who would benefit, we ask that you please get in touch by the end of April. If you have questions, please email Sean Chapman at

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