Everett – Kids at Granite Falls Boys & Girls Club get 2,500 new books

GRANITE FALLS — Elementary and middle school students wandered through a maze of 2,500 books grouped by grade at the Granite Falls Boys & Girls Club last week. They each got one free book Thursday, and clamored to make their pick.

Monte Cristo Elementary student Starr Broten, 9, chose “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” She’s a fan of the entire Harry Potter series, but said Sorcerer’s Stone is one of her favorites.

The books, displayed on tables and stacked in bins, were donated to the club by Assistance League of Everett. The group collected titles for the past four months, mostly from the league’s 330 members, President Caryl de Jong said.

“Our library was pretty depleted,” club director Robert Cannon said.

“I didn’t really have an idea of the scale of this many books until I saw them,” he said.

Their collection filled four rows of a bookshelf. The 70 kids who spend an hour after school reading from that small selection are excited to have new choices, he said.

One of those readers, 10-year-old Bennett Hirt, of Monte Cristo Elementary, took home “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School.” He’s been coming to the club about twice a week for the past four years.

It took a caravan of three cars and a pickup truck, bed filled to the brim, to get all 2,500 books to the club, de Jong said. To accommodate the new books, a volunteer will cover the club’s back wall with bookshelves.

Assistance League is made up of volunteers dedicated to improving the lives of local children and families, de Jong said. The Everett chapter has been around for more than 50 years and has done work in Granite Falls before.

The group has become familiar with the town’s needs, de Jong said. The Boys & Girls Club was a perfect fit for Assistance League’s annual “ACTION! Week,” which was centered around literacy this year.

The Granite Falls’ Boys & Girls Club had about 860 members last year. It serves more than 200 kids per day, Cannon said.

The library is a few blocks away, but can be out of reach for students who spend their afternoons at the club.

“For the kids that are here, this is one of the only places they can access these books,” Cannon said.

Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439; jgsanders@heraldnet.com.

Maci Knapstad, 5 (left), reads her Dr. Seuss book to Phoebe Baker, 5, during the Assistance League of Everett’s book donation event at the Granite Falls Boys & Girls Club on Feb. 28 in Granite Falls. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Kids pick out books during the Assistance League of Everett’s book donation event at the Granite Falls Boys & Girls Club on Thursday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)