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NFMAA students receive free books

May 10, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

More than 600 K-5 students from the North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts got a great gift to start the week courtesy of the Kiwanis and a local TV station.

The students received free books at a book fair, courtesy of the Fort Myers/Edison Kiwanis, ABC-7 and Disney, that they will be able to read and enjoy over the summer.

Students got to take their pick of age-appropriate books, from kindergarten level "Frozen" books to long chapter books that took the fourth- and fifth-graders on magical adventures.

Article Photos

Those on hand for the book giveaway included, top row, from left, Jeff Butera, Tom Millins, Krista Fogelsong and John Patrick. In the bottom row, second-graders Lily Masters, Taliana Abril and Emily Pellet stand by their new books donated to the North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts.


They also got to be in television promos and live shots with the evening news anchors from ABC-7, as it was the first of four "Magic Monday" book promotions for the month. The identity of the remaining Southwest Florida schools remained secret.

"We've partnered with ABC-7 and Disney, and with the help of First Books, we were able to supply books at 50 cents apiece," said Harris Seigel, a member of the Kiwanis. "ABC-7 was able to pay for 3,000 books, we have Title I schools lined up to give out free books."

Krista Fogelsong, evening anchor at ABC-7, said this is a way Disney gives back to kids.

"Some kids don't even have books. It's hard to believe that underprivileged kids would grow up without books. So, they teamed up to provide books for kids at school," Fogelsong said. "To see the kids' faces when they see their favorite book is exciting."

Tom Millins, NFMAA principal, and a former Kiwanis member, said the Kiwanis reached out to principals to several schools, including his. He was glad they did, as reading is the most important thing a child can do.

"It a crucial part of a child's development. When you have students with access to books and they're able to read not because they have to but for the joy of it, is great." Millins said. "We want to make them lifelong learners."

The kids filed in, class by class, and got the books they wanted. Meanwhile, the TV station was putting them in live and taped promos, interviewing the kids and Millins, and to top it off, the school was presented with 100 books by Kiwanis and ABC-7 to put in its library.

Dash Lindsay, a first-grader, picked out a Star Wars book.

"I was so excited because I wanted to know if this book was good. I'm going to read it myself," Lindsay said. "I like Luke Skywalker. He has powers. I also like Darth Vader because he can take your throat and throw people."

Lyla Roland, a second-grader, said she was going to pick out the Cinderella book.

"Cinderella is very nice, the stepsisters are very mean and it has a happy ending, and I like that," Roland said. "It's pretty cool getting a book. I've never done this at other schools."



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