SUWANEE -- This month, families at Riverside Elementary School collected more than 3,600 books for Meadowcreek Elementary.
During the month of February, Riverside Elementary held a book drive for Meadowcreek Elementary, a Norcross school with a high percentage of students considered to be economically disadvantaged.
Missy Fiveash, the chairwoman of the Riverside PTA's book drive committee, said she got the idea for the project while browsing serve.gov. Once she developed the idea for the project, she contacted Gwinnett County Public Schools to see if there was a school in need of books.
"We had the whole world to consider, but we thought it would be nice to keep it local and support our own community," she said.
The school system let Fiveash know that Meadowcreek Elementary had a need for books and would appreciate the donation.
Fiveash planned the drive with the help of Riverside PTA President Janette Derucki. A committee of parents helped collect, sort and pack the books.
The unspoken goal was to collect at least one book for the more than 1,600 students at Riverside.
Parent Rebecca Duran said she knows there is a correlation between reading and success later in life.
"We've got to have access to these books for these kids to just read, read, read, read, read," she said. "I've got five kids. We've got bookshelves in every room, and we're just filled to the brim."
Most Riverside families have many books in their homes, but Duran said the families of students at Meadowcreek Elementary might not have the discretionary income to spend on lots of books.
"We're all in one community, even if we're not in the same neighborhood school," Duran said. "Why wouldn't we help out our neighbors in Gwinnett County?"