Former student gifts each child at Greysbranch with a book

LLOYD, Ky. (AP) — There’s just something about opening a new book, its spine still stiff, cover shiny and uncreased, pages redolent of freshly milled paper.

Every student at Greysbranch Elementary School went home last week with a shiny new book and the promise of that extra touch of anticipation that goes along with turning the pages for the first time.

The books, more than 350 of them, were courtesy of Brent Craft, a former Greysbranch student who practices law in Cincinnati. Craft, whose family still lives in Greenup County, visited his old school and some of his former teachers during the spring book fair.

Craft knew about the book fair because his aunt, Jenny Weaver, is the Greysbranch librarian. He wondered about children whose families couldn’t afford new books, children who could only look at the stacks of new books from the outside.

"Wouldn’t it be a terrible thing if children came in and wanted a book and couldn’t have one?" he said. "Why not give one to every kid?"

So he conferred with his aunt, who converted his financial donation into age-appropriate books for every grade from kindergarten through fifth grade, every book qualifying for the Accelerated Reader program many schools use to encourage reading and measure reading comprehension.

Then came the fun part, visiting each classroom and passing out the books.

By all reports, the books were eagerly anticipated. When Principal Jeff Wireman announced Craft’s arrival, children applauded spontaneously.

The gift was just what she would have expected, said Mitzi Lanning, Craft’s teacher in first grade. "I?knew he was one of the students who was going to make something of himself. He had leadership qualities. You could tell that,"?she said.

The gift was as thoughtful as it was generous, according to Lanning. "What better way to help children than to help them enjoy reading," she said.

Craft’s gesture meshes with the school’s lessons about generosity, counselor Jamie Hunt said. "We always talk about sharing and giving,"?she said. "It’s good to see a Greenup Countian come back and help out other Greenup Countians," she said.


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