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'Book Blast' extravaganza at Lewis & Clark Elementary School

Posted at 8:51 AM, May 24, 2024

GREAT FALLS — The halls were extra loud at Lewis & Clark Elementary School on Thursday - weeks of anticipatory build-up for the 2024 Book Blast.

The event, started by school librarian Michelle Orr, asks friends and family of the school to opt-in to donate money so each of the 342 students can receive a summer reading catalog.

“Kids having books in their hands is what we need,” says Orr. “So that's why I started this program, so they could have something to take home for summer reading, because if they can't practice, they can't get better.”

Students who raised $135 received 10 brand new books. Students unable to participate were still able to take home four books apiece. Books were organized by grade-level and/or reading level.

In total, $24,710 was raised, a grand total of 1,963 new books. Books were dropped off via truckload palettes on May 9th. Students received individual packages of books containing fiction, non-fiction, and even comics.

“All week long they've been asking me when we were going to do it,” says Orr.

This led to much excitement when Thursday afternoon finally came.

“It’s kind of like Christmas time,” said Riley, a first-grader at school. “Like someone dropped off a present for you and you get to open it up.”

A new public school tradition which looks to remain intact for years to come.