The non-profit Friends of Reston Regional Library is providing about 1,800 free books to local students. The Book Bites project is giving new books to children at four Reston public schools during meal and school supply pick-up, which typically runs from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m on weekdays.
The schools that will receive donations are Dogwood Elementary, Hunters Woods Elementary, Forest Edge Elementary, and South Lakes High School. The first day of distribution took place at Dogwood late last week and is expected to continue until March.
Where are our @DogwoodFairfax 4-6 readers? We’ve got books waiting for you! We’re here til 1230! 🙂📚@dogwoodlibfcps @DogwoodMinds #WeNeedDiverseBooks #bookbites @LindaSuePark @KSekouM pic.twitter.com/JatcHV2AMw
— RestonLibraryFriends 🥑 (@LoveBooksReston) January 29, 2021
Eileen Evon, Community Outreach Chair for FRRL, says the idea came to the organization when they realized how many families were in need of partaking in the meal pick-ups.
“Knowing more kids than ever were going to schools to pick up meals got us thinking about what else they might need to feed their brains and hearts and imaginations during this crazy time,” Evon wrote in an email to Reston Now. “We believed we, as Friends of the Library, could and should help.”
With access to libraries still limited, Evon says, this made the need even greater.
Books were sorted, inventoried, and arranged by reading level by more than 25 volunteers. Families are able to take bundles for multiple students within the same household. Books will also be handed out at schools in the coming weeks, when more students are expected to return in-person.
The books chosen for the project are from recommended school reading lists and were based on input from school librarians, reading specialists, and other school staff.
The organization received assistance from the local business Scrawl Books at Reston Town Center, which provided discounts on books. Jersey Mike’s of Reston also donated 1,000 new paper bags for the book bundles.
FRRL says the total cost of the books being distributed is nearly $15,000. Funds for the project came from sales of donated books as well as cash donations.
In normal times, FRRL raises money (often with book sales) to assist Reston libraries in filling funding gaps. Their mission is to make the local library system the “can be the best it can be” by providing technology, collection materials, programming, and books for free or discounted costs to the community, according to its website.
Evon says that while giving away free books looks easy, it requires a lot of work.
“It seems like a simple idea: ‘let’s give away a bunch of free, brand-new books to kids who rarely get them.’ But it actually has required months of planning and creative thinking,” she says. “The schools have so much going on right now, and they have had to adapt constantly. We’ve been delighted to partner with them so our volunteers can come to their schools to distribute these books to their families.”
Photo courtesy of Friends of Reston Regional Library
How Family Tried to Keep Suspected Neo-Nazi from their Daughter — People magazine published an in-depth piece about the Reston double murder on Friday, including details on how the family attempted to keep the suspect, who turned the gun on himself, away from their daughter. [People]
Escape Herndon Donates Tickets for Charity — The business is donating proceeds from all tickets sold for New Year’s Eve to Starlight, an organization that aims to bring joy and comfort to hospitalized children and their families. [Escape Herndon]
Reston Library Holds One-Hour Sessions to Build Computer Skills — Adults seeking to improve their computer skills can register for a one-hour session with a technology volunteer to improve their computer skills and get help with navigating the Internet and e-books. Individuals interested in participating should call the library to make an appointment. The session will take place from 6 – 8 p.m. today. [Fairfax County Government]
Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar. Know of other events in the area? Comment below.
- The newly opened Nando’s PERi PERi at 12120 Sunset Hills Road is hosting a grand opening on Saturday. All sales will be donated to the bands of South Lakes High School and Herndon High School. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
- Remove English ivy at South Shore Road on Saturday from 10 a.m. through noon. Volunteers will dig roots with small tools and pulls vines until the area is cleared from a section of the woods. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Follow the Habitat Heroes signs for directions. For details on how to register as a volunteer, visit RA’s website.
- Create Thanksgiving centerpieces at the Walker Nature Center (11540 Glade Drive) from 10:30 a.m. through noon on Saturday. All materials are provided. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.
- Herndon High School Theatre presents “Twelfth Night” today from 7:30 – 10 p.m. and on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the school’s auditorium. Tickets are $6 for students and $12 for adults.
- Learn techniques in metalworking, material manipulation and beading at the Greater Reston Arts Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. The event is for attendees ages 18 and up. The fee is $45 for residents and $55 for all others.
- Enjoy a ride on Engine $62 of the Resources Railroad at Lake Fairfax Park on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Create your own Thanksgiving-themed craft to take home. The cost if $5 and the Fairfax County Park Authority will be collecting non-perishable food items for a local food bank.
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. Church will have a one-day Christmas Bazaar on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 11140 North Shore Drive.
- Meanwhile, the 8th annual tree lighting festival kicks off this Saturday from 3 – 4 p.m. at the Village at Leesburg Shopping Center. Attendees are encouraged to bring donations for the Toys for Tots program.
- Harry Butwosky will present a six-part lecture series on the years between World War I and World World II from 2 to 4 p.m. at Reston Library on Sunday.
- On Sunday, Ingrid King discusses her books and a hodgepodge of topics ranging from lessons learned from pets and cat health. The event will take place at Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.) from 4 – 6 p.m.