Grove Park Elementary was selected by Edward Jones to be the recipient of their community outreach project. Associates from Edward Jones presented school librarian Devlin Popham over 700 new books, collected from book drive and monetary donations from both the Mebane and Burlington Edward Jones branches. The Kiwanis Club also made a substantial contribution.
Laurie Sawyer, Mebane Branch Office Administrator, explained the project:
"As a firm, our purpose is to partner for positive impact—to improve the lives of our clients and colleagues, and together better our communities and society. This purpose is brought to life in a number of ways, but one way we are doing so locally is through our region's Community Impact Committee. Our Edward Jones region, which is comprised of branches in Guilford, Rockingham, and Alamance counties, established a Community Impact Committee at the start of this year. As a committee we decided to come up with a project that could be replicated at a school in each county and that could easily involve our branch teams and clients. We all loved the idea of a book drive to benefit school or classroom libraries that would culminate during Read Across America Week."
"We also really liked the idea of being able to read to the school's students. We also all agreed that the school needed to be a Title I school, which we felt would have a clear, demonstrated need. I chose Grove Park, a Title 1 school, for Alamance County because of it's central location to the majority of our branches. Edward Jones has 14 branches in Alamance County from Gibsonville to Mebane. We all worked together as One Edward Jones to collect all of these amazing books for Grove Park. William Austin, a Burlington Edward Jones Financial Advisor, and a Kiwanis member, approached his club who matched his monetary donation. William and his wife did an amazing job satisfying a large portion of Devlin Popham's wish list, and other teams also worked together to provide the copies of the NC Children's Book Award books for the school. Clients were also very connected to this project ordering books from Amazon, dropping by the branches with donations, and sharing with us their memories of reading stories to their kids. We are so excited with the results of this project, and it was amazing to see the reactions of the students yesterday at Grove Park. I hope that the books are enjoyed by the school and students of Grove Park for many years to come."
During the presentation, students browsed some of the new books on display and created a thank you card for the visitors. Each Edward Jones Associate also took time to read aloud to classes.
Mrs. Popham is thrilled with the generous donation and students are eager to begin reading the new books. "This incredible donation will update the shelves of our Library. Seeing the faces of our students light up while exploring these new books was amazing! In today's technology-heavy world, it's so promising to be given books and watch the joy that it still gives our children. The impact of this gift will be felt for years to come, as our Bulldogs read these treasured books."