Throughout the school year, first- and second-graders in Waco ISD have been receiving books with an unexpected twist. Each book has been personalized in such a way that a central character in the story shares the name, gender and race or ethnicity of the student receiving it.
The project was initiated by the YMCA of Central Texas whose executive director, Rodney Martin, had helped to distribute personalized books through other YMCAs where he worked before coming to Waco.
The project started last year with several community organizations coming together to sponsor books for every second-grade student in Waco ISD. Now in the second year of the project, the Junior League of Waco has sponsored a book for every first-grade student, and the Waco Rotary Club has purchased a book for every second-grader.
Members of the three community groups deliver the books to each elementary campus and read with students while they are there. The deliveries started in December, and the final delivery was last week.
The YMCA of Central Texas, Waco Rotary Club and Junior League of Waco have committed to continue the program for the 2019-20 school year.
The following students were recently initiated into the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi at Texas Tech University:
Lacey Tadlock, of Aquilla; Kristi McLeod, of Fairfield; Cade Erwin, of McGregor; Sarah Gilmore, of Waco; Avery Holmes, of Waco; Diana McCutcheon, of Waco; Breelin Shafer, of Waco.
The following students were recently initiated into the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi at Texas A&M-Commerce:
Caitlyn Costello, of Woodway; Delvin Smith, of Coolidge; Maria Ortiz, of Coolidge.
Kendell Wimberly, of Whitney, was recognized at an awards ceremony at Angelo State University in San Angelo.
He is a civil engineering major and was nominated by the David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering. He plans to work in the structural and geotechnical engineering field in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.