Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

EMMA organization partners with local elementary school

Courtesy of EMMA

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct timeline of events and number of books raised.

This semester, the English Majors and Minors Association partnered with the Matthews Elementary School book fair, wrapping up a semester of supporting the school by collecting books and funds. 

This semester, EMMA held a book drive to raise enough money and books for students at Matthews Elementary to be able to take books home with them.  

The drive collected both new and used books, as well as Venmo and check donations, said Mo Edwards, EMMA’s president. 

For Matthews Elementary, the book drive is also about the emotional impact on students.  

“I always have students say, ‘Wait … I can have this? I don’t have to return it to the library?’” Kristen Watts, the library media specialist at Matthews Elementary, said. “They then smile a mile wide when I say, ‘Nope, this is your book to take home and keep!’” 

Throughout the semester, EMMA raised enough money to buy 30 new books, and 73 used books were donated. 

“We have had other organizations donate books in the past, and it is always heartwarming to see the smiling faces of the children when they get to choose a book or two to take home,” Watts said.   

On Nov. 30, members of EMMA visited Matthews Elementary for the school’s first Literacy Night, where members hosted multiple activities with the kids at the school. 

“A group of 15 of us went over to the elementary school and helped the kids write poems, shop for books,” Lainey Sudall, the service coordinator for EMMA, said. 

This semester was not the first time EMMA has partnered with Matthews Elementary School; the organization worked with the school prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and both groups are hopeful there will be more events to come. 

“I hope to organize more events like Literacy Night in the coming months,” Sudall said. 

Sudall also noted that she is working with the school to set up volunteering opportunities at Matthews Elementary. 

“I’m currently working with the librarian at Matthews to coordinate more volunteer opportunities next semester, such as helping out during school hours in the library,” Sudall said. 

Matthews Elementary expressed gratitude for all of EMMA’s help during the entire semester. 

“We appreciate EMMA’s willingness to host this book drive as well as help us with our literacy night and book fair this semester,” Watts said.  

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