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Henry County Schools get big donation of books

Henry County Public Schools are once again the recipient of a very generous donation of new, high-quality books from the Virginia Education Foundation (www.v-e-f.org). 

In spring 2020, the division received a donation of 11,366 books and this spring has been given a donation of 13,222 books, distributed amongst the nine elementary, two middle, and two high schools in HCPS.  The retail value of these donated books is almost $360,000. 

The partnership between Henry County Public Schools (HCPS) and the Virginia Education Foundation (VEF) began with a phone call from an HCPS employee to VEF in the fall of 2019.  “George Beker, VEF’s Founder and Director, has a passion to give away over a hundred thousand books annually and get them into the hands of students across Virginia.  He patiently guided the process for ensuring Henry County would receive a donation of over 11,000 books in the spring of 2020 to support literacy instruction. 

Stephanie Whitten selects a book to share with her students from the VEF collection now available at Meadow View Elementary.

“VEF’s commitment to Henry County did not stop there.  In January of 2021, Beker reached out to share the news that students in Henry County would be the recipients of another large donation of books in the spring of 2021.  Students and teachers have benefitted from VEF’s generous donations of nearly 25,000 books that have encouraged reading for pleasure and provided materials for teachers when planning literacy instruction.  We are very appreciative of the support gifted by the Virginia Education Foundation,” said Denise Fultz, HCPS Curriculum Coordinator.

“The donated books are creating opportunities for students to grow as lifelong readers while adding variety to the books we have in our classrooms.  Students are using the books for guided reading, read aloud, and Sustained Silent Reading,” said Machell Wells, Meadow View Elementary’s Reading Specialist.

The Virginia Education Foundation gives selected public school systems in Virginia over one hundred thousand books annually to enhance scholastic instruction and reading skills.  VEF’s mission is to provide grants and assistance to Virginia Title I public schools and qualifying organizations in Virginia that serve the educational needs of low-income children as well as eligible students with disabilities.  Title I public schools and organizations funded or supported by VEF promote and enhance children’s literacy, school readiness, grade-level reading, and school success for primarily low-income children and youth in Virginia.