Needline collects books for children

As Thanksgiving and Christmas quickly approach, people are reminded the holidays are the time of the year for giving through the many fundraisers, food drives and charity events.

This year, the National Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts student affiliate is collecting children’s books to give to Needline for their annual Christmas food boxes.

“Our NCTE student affiliate tries to focus on a community event each year,” said Deborah Bell, NCTE sponsor.

This is the first year the organization has collected books for the Murray Calloway County Needline.

“As pre-service teachers, we are all passionate about our field and we strive to promote literacy,” said Ethan May, NCTE president. “The NCTE wanted to find some way to share that with children during the holiday season, so we began to ask for book donations.”

The books collected will be sent to Needline to be added to the food boxes sent to children on Christmas as a special gift, Bell said.

“Research has proven that exposure to reading at early ages contributes to literacy development,” she said. “We hope to get an inviting book into the hands of these children and hopefully open a door to literacy development that would continue hopefully at all grade levels.”

Murray State students and faculty members can participate in the community service project by placing a children’s book in the drop-off boxes located on every floor of Faculty Hall and the Curris Center. Books need to be dropped off by Monday, Nov. 19 to ensure Needline is able to receive them before Thanksgiving break.

Any type of children’s books will be accepted for donation and given to Needline.

“Ideally, we would like to have (children’s) Christmas books,” May said. “But we appreciate any and all books that are donated to the cause.”

The Murray/Calloway County Needline also has many other opportunities to give back, especially around this time of the year. Some of their volunteer opportunities include stocking the pantry, lifting and unloading donated items, organizing food areas and assembling grocery bags with necessary items for those in need.

For more information about the Murray-Calloway County Needline, visit or contact the food pantry at 753-6333.

 Story by Hunter Harrell, Staff writer.