The Gift of Reading: Mountain View Elementary Students Collect Books for Fellow Cobb Students

Mountain View Elementary’s young students recently gave the community a lesson in compassion. The nearly 900 students – from preschool to fifth grade – initiated a book drive for a South Cobb area school in need.  

Thanks to the Mountain View students, Clay Elementary School students could curl up to read a new book over the winter break. As a result of the book drive, every Clay student took home a new book, which matched to their interests and reading abilities.  

“We make it a priority to engage our children in acts of compassion and gratitude, of being nice to one another and thinking globally about kindness,” said Mountain View principal Dr. Renee Garriss. “Every day we invite our students to live out our mottos, which are “Be Nice, Show Compassion, and Express Gratitude. This is just one way in which they connect their learning with the world around them, and it so beautifully shows the kind of kids we have, thoughtful, generous, and kind.” 

Once they heard about the need at Clay for reading materials, Mountain View’s students spent a month promoting the book drive, collecting and donating new books, and even making hundreds of bookmarks. The school staff then gathered after school, wrapping and decorating each book – complete with bows, ribbons, and stickers – to excite the Clay students and encourage them to keep reading while on break.  

As an educator, Dr. Garriss knows how important it is for children to develop a love of reading at a young age, and to treasure the joy of a new book they can call their own. However, the efforts of her students mean even more because she herself is an alumna of Clay. When the ribbon was tied on the last book, they were ready to deliver, and Dr. Garriss immediately volunteered.  

“Being able to deliver the books brings the giving full circle for me because I grew up just down the street from Clay. I love this community,” the Mountain View principal added.  

Clay principal, Dr. Cynthia Winter said, “We just can’t say enough about this—the love that the students of Mountain View are showing us, and through this incredible act of generosity and thoughtfulness, it’s truly wonderful.” 

Clay students were ecstatic at the delivery and excited to enjoy a new book to read and treasure.  

“Going to Mountain View, where I’m now leading students to love reading and learning, to where I myself learned those same lessons is a precious memory for me,” Dr. Garriss explained. “To be able to play a small part in connecting the students’ efforts allows us all at Mountain View to be active in what we believe: that the world is made better by practicing compassion and expressing gratitude. Our students are committed to not only doing their best every day but being their best, to making a difference in their community and to the world. It’s a simple act, to give someone a book, but the impact goes far beyond, and in the case of a child, can last a lifetime.   

After learning of the Mountain View students’ generosity, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners honored the two schools at a recent meeting.

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