Kids collect coins to buy books for hospital patients

By Ashley Luthern


As Union Elementary School students gathered in the gym before morning announcements this week, it wasn’t uncommon to hear the plink and ping of coins amid the chatter and laughter.

Students collected and donated a specific denomination each day, and on Friday, they could bring any coin they wanted. The school is using the donations to buy books through the Scholastic book fair to give to patients at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley as part of a program called “All for Books.”

The hospital provides books to patients, who then take them home, said Principal Michael Masucci.

“We’re replenishing their supply. This is the first time we’ve tried this,” he said.

Fourth-graders Sophia Sainato and Reed Davis said they enjoyed the project.

“We’ve collected pennies on Monday, and today we could bring in any coin to donate. We’re doing it because it will give books to kids who are sick,” Sophia said.

Reed added that it “feels good” to donate.

Kindergarten student Jeffrey Kollar said he collected change from his family.

“We really care about the sick kids,” he said.

The schools’ Parent-Teacher Organization led the project and organized the book fair, which begins next week and where students can continue to donate their change.

Kim Brant and Carol D’Alesio, PTO members and book-fair organizers, said the book fair also is used to provide educational supplies throughout the school.

“We buy books for teachers’ libraries and the school libraries and other materials,” Brant said.

The PTO also has planned a family night Thursday at which students and a guest can shop for books, eat “dirt” sundaes and plant sunflowers and marigolds, in keeping with the book fair’s science theme.

Although students are looking forward to new books, they’re just as excited about helping others.

“I hope the kids are happy that they’re getting books,” Sophia said.

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