CBS 46 Donates 2,650 Books to Compton Elementary School Students

Compton Elementary School students read their new books donated by CBS 46 as part of the station’s Books to Kids program on November 16.

Not all students go home to a library of books. Some don’t have any books to call their own. After a visit from the CBS 46 news team, that won’t be the case for students at Compton Elementary School. The CBS 46 Books to Kids crew pulled up to Compton with thousands of stories—2,650 publications to be exact.

To get the students excited about reading, they rolled out a red carpet to welcome the students to the book giveaway celebration set up in the gym. CBS 46 anchors and reporters greeted the students as the students walked down the red carpet to pick up their bags of printed works.

The kids gathered on the gym floor and eagerly peeked in their bags to see their new books. They held up their paperbound joy and showed them to their friends. Some buried their noses in paperbound gifts.

“They were very excited to get those book bags,” said Katie Gonzales, a Compton kindergarten teacher. “I think just getting the books out and looking at them made them light up. I saw some of my students pulling out the books and looking at them, reading them, and wanting to show me. I had one little girl opening books and showing me words that we are learning.”

After flipping through some of their books, the kindergarteners listened to a special guest who stepped in for story time. Cobb County School District Superintendent Chris Ragsdale read “Too Many Frogs” to the room of five and six year olds.

When Gonzales and her kindergarteners returned to their classroom, the young readers were bouncing with excitement about their new literary treasures. As they reviewed their new books again, they asked their teacher in amazement, “Can I have this? Can I take this home?”

The smiles on their faces broadened when their teacher answered, “yes!”

 “To be able to have books given to them like this is a treasure,” Gonzales added. “We are really appreciative of CBS Books to Kids for giving this opportunity to us. Just to be able to put in a book in a child’s hand anytime is amazing, a blessing.”

CBS 46 anchor Tracye Hutchins loved seeing the energy of the Compton students, who gave her high fives as they picked up their bags of books.

“ A lot of [the kids] don’t have books at home,” Hutchins said. “[Today], they have an opportunity to share them and trade them to find that right book for them, but the key is they take [the books] home.”

According to the CBS anchor, the news business is about 95 percent reading and writing, and Hutchins and her CBS coworkers want to help foster those same skills and the love of reading in the younger generation of learners.

“It is an opportunity for us as a station to give back to the community,” Hutchins explained.