Tyler – Abigail Price, a sixth-grade student at Moore MST Magnet School, recently set a goal to collect 1,200 books for the Literacy Council of Tyler's Bill's Bookshelf project in celebration of her twelfth birthday.
With the help of friends, family and the community, Abigail exceeded her goal by collecting 2,000 children's and adult books during the past three months. Bill's Bookshelf provides free books to low-income families to help encourage a love of reading at all ages.
"I wanted to begin this book drive because I found a love of reading last summer when it finally clicked for me," Abigail said. "I went on to read 20 chapter books last summer."
Before that time, Abigail said she did not enjoy reading because she struggled with comprehension, often having to re-read passages in order to fully understand their meaning. To help improve her comprehension skills, Abigail's mom and friends encouraged her to read books in a variety of genres until she found topics that sparked her interest. By doing so, she developed a preference to biographies and autobiographies.
"I would have never thought I would like biographies and autobiographies most, but 18 of the 20 books I read last summer were biographies and autobiographies."
Since finding her love of reading, Abigail has noticed improvement in her comprehension and she now only has to re-read questions to double check her work, instead of struggling to understand the context. The idea to collect books for Bill's Bookshelf came from Abigail's mother who heard about the opportunity during a school PTA meeting.
"After my mom told me about the project, I called the Literacy Council to get started," Abigail said.
Once her goal was set, she says the collection was "pretty easy" to do and encourages other students who have ideas for helping others to "set a goal, go after it and don't let anyone hold you back."
"Abigail is clearly an exceptional individual," Ellen Krafve, director of development for the Literacy Council of Tyler, said. "Working with her, I was privileged to get to witness her passion, drive and creativity. It is a joy and reassuring to see the quality of leaders coming along in the next generation."