Bringing back the books
Last updated 9/18/2018 at Noon
Teachers at Orangefield Elementary School lost everything to Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey last year, including some of the most basic but necessary learning tools — books.
But help was on the way.
Lifetouch, the leading provider of school and family photography, teams with the Texas Elementary Principal and Supervisors Association and Scholastic Book Fairs to donator more than 800 new books to the school on Tuesday afternoon in the gym with the OES fourth-grade, teachers and administrators in attendance. The books will be used to hep rebuild the school's classroom libraries, which were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey last year.
Jan Haeg, director of field talent development for Lifetouch, said their company does school photographs from preschool to seniors in high school. She added that it was Lifetouch's heart to give back after Harvey to help students and teachers.
Lifetouch organized the Cover to Cover, Heart to Heart campaign to help replenish classroom libraries in three Hurricane harvey-ravaged Texas schools including OES and Little Cypress Elementary. From August 13 through September 5, Lifetouch employees purchased books for each school through an online Scholastic Book Fair.
In addition, Scholastic Book Fairs matched 50 percent of LIfetouch employee purchases with a donation of Scholastic Dollars, which all three schools can redeem through the Scholastic Dollars Catalog online for even more books and educational resources.
Haeg said the three organizations formed a joint partnership to give back to the three rural schools in south Texas.
Larry Wissinger, director of business development for Scholastic, said they organized an online book fair prior to a usual book fair. They marketed with LIfetouch and each school had their own team captain. A wish list was made for OES to purchase books in which Lifetouch employees purchased from out of their own pockets.
"These kids really deserve something positive after this," Wissinger said. "The employees with Scholastic had a great time with this."
Haeg added this will be the gift that keeps on giving for years and years because the books can be passed down. Furthermore, the books acquired are based on what they read.
Mark Terry, with TEPSA, said he visited OES last year and he knew he wanted to help the school.
Cynthia Vetsch, vice president for human resources with Lifetouch, said the fourth-graders at OES were "very well mannered and their teachers and parents would be proud of them."
"I watched Hurricane Harvey on TV and I cried," she said. "I got a call from Mr. Terry and I said our company was all in."
She encouraged the students to "Never stop reading!"