Adopt-A-Book program helps stock Heritage MS library

Adopting a child might be a complicated and noisy proposition, but Heritage Middle School has an alternative — adopt a book.

Lisa Patterson, a member of the HMS PTA, started a program when her daughter was a new student at Oak Ridge Elementary School. The Birthday Book Club has helped stock Oak Ridge’s new shelves by allowing parents to purchase books in honor of their children. Children are allowed to select a book and their name is put on a sticker in its front.

Patterson introduced the same idea to HMS, which opened one year ago. Because she wanted to make it more appealing to middle school children, she and HMS librarian Susan Hall brainstormed to find a new way to market the idea.

The Adopt-A-Book program is now under way. Students, parents or grandparents can pay $15 to purchase one of their favorite books and have a sticker in the front. Additionally, students from the media department are filming short clips of the donating student telling why they chose the book. A QR, or Quick Response, code in the front of the book allows anyone with a smartphone to view the video.

The art department at HMS has gotten involved in the project, creating posters and even decorating a pet crate which will hold a display of books that could be donated, much like a pet adoption service.

Media students have not only filmed clips for the donated books, but are also using some footage in their schoolwide news broadcasts.

The program is new this semester, but Hall said the library has already had 10 books donated.

Staci Sisk, librarian at Oak Ridge, said the Birthday Book Club has raised about 125 books per year for that school’s library. Oak Ridge opened in 2009, and Sisk said she was appreciative of the PTA efforts to put more books on the new shelves.

“We’re a fairly new school as well, and it has helped build our library collection a great deal. The parents have been very supportive, and every year, it grows,” Sisk said.

Patterson said she ends up in Barnes & Noble two to three times a week, and loves seeing people reading books she has loved.

“It’s a very special thing to me,” she said, adding she often thinks, “I know you’re going to love that book.”

Donating books to the library is another way to get that same feeling, she said. It’s even more important in a new school like HMS where the library shelves are still not fully stocked.

“It warms my heart to think we could be a part of something like building up a library,” Patterson said.

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