Greater Wilmington – Legacy of Literacy

With the return to school just weeks away, the Bolivia Elementary School media center has a brand new selection of children’s literature thanks to the generosity of Assistance League of Greater Wilmington.

Tillie Lehmer, Mary Jo Harris, Jan Jacobsen and Pam Moody organized a book drive to benefit a school in New Hanover and Brunswick counties. The ladies are members of Assistance League of Greater Wilmington. The ‘Legacy of Literacy’ provided $2,000 to Bolivia Elementary for the purchase of children’s literature.

The League’s annual book drive “Legacy of Literacy” recently presented Bolivia principal Beverly Eury a check for $2,000.

“We were thrilled to receive the $2,000 gift from the Assistance League of Greater Wilmington to support our media center,” Eury said. “The chapter has been a supporter of Brunswick County Schools for a number of years.  They offer grant opportunities to teachers which all enhance the instruction delivered in the classroom!

“The $2,000 for the media center is especially exciting as we continually strive to increase our media center collection.  We are especially interested in books that appeal to the boys in our upper grades.  Too often, a love and joy for reading is stifled by peer pressure at that age unless they are reading something ‘cool.’ The gift from Assistance League will certainly support our endeavors in fostering a love for reading, which we hope will continue throughout school and life.”

According to this year’s chair Pam Moody, the chapter dedicated its fundraising efforts to area schools. This year the league invited patrons to visit their thrift shop in Wilmington to “purchase” their favorite children’s book cover to display on a clothesline displayed in the thrift shop. Their efforts raised $670 from the sale of 134 book covers.

“Our members and shop patrons are so caring and generous,” said Moody. “On each of the two days (per week) when I was working, there were folks who saw the promotion in the window and came in to specifically donate to promote literacy.”

Through these efforts plus additional funds approved by the chapter’s board, the organization was able to award gifts to two local elementary school media centers: Bolivia Elementary’s media center, and a New Hanover school received a similar presentation.

The League originally planned to present their donation in early spring, but due to the closing of all North Carolina schools, the women were unable to present the gift to principal Eury in a celebratory presentation. Realizing the schools were not likely to reopen this spring, the League mailed the check to Eury.

“When our ‘new normal’ is in place, I would love to hear from (the school) about how (media center coordinator Sally Lewis) was able to use the donation. In the meantime, I pray that you and the entire staff and Bolivia ES family are safe and healthy,” Moody wrote in a note with the check.

The Greater Wilmington chapter is one of 120 chapters of Assistance League, a national nonprofit. In addition to the book drive, the league provides Brunswick County children clothes and school supplies, stages puppet shows for elementary school children, discussing topics such as bullying, making friends, disability awareness and peer pressure. The league also works throughout Brunswick County with seniors in low-income senior facilities and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.