Men help stock library at alma mater

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 24, 2006

Thanks to the Friends of Hale County, four former John Essex students were able to make a generous contribution to their alma mater.


the Rev. Mitchell Congress, and Cleavester, Freddie, and the Rev. Frank Charleston unloaded

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boxes containing somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 books

in the school’s gym.

“The friends of Hale County wanted the books to go somewhere they could really be used and appreciated,” Congress


And according to the school’s principal Loretta McCoy, the donation is greatly appreciated and the students are sure to get great use out of the used books.

“We really want to say thanks to the Friends of Hale County for thinking of John Essex,” McCoy said.

“We feel glad and honored they thought of us because our library shelves were almost empty and the most of the books that we have, are outdated. Surely these will fill the shelves and replace the older books.”

McCoy also said the collection of Reader’s Digest, gardening, science, text, and variety of reading books came during a critical time when students need information from a hard-copy source.

“Right now the students are doing research papers and so a lot of these reference books will really help them out,” she said as she combed through the boxes, “Plus we are extending the Alabama Reading Initiative up through our seventh and eighth grade and we are putting a lot of emphasis on using the strategies of the initiative to bring our older students up to grade level.”

The vast collection will

also be used during the students silent reading block,

McCoy said, so they can have a variety of books to choose from and read “something new.”

But Freddie Charleston said he will continue to do things for the community whether he is elected to the Demopolis

Board of Education, or not. And Congress said his promise stands whether he becomes Marengo County Commissioner.

“If I am elected to the Board of Education, I hope to do more for the entire system,” Charleston said, “It’s just a part of being involved with the youth and the community.”

“We are going to try to do more things for the school in the future once we find out what they need here,” Congress said.

“John Essex has gone unnoticed for too long,” Charleston added, “We are going to do out job to bring it to the top.”