Fourth-grade students at Horace Mann Laboratory School finished up their Rescue Reader book donation program Thursday.
Youngsters in Sara Rogers' class loaded up well over 1,000 books that will be sent to the African nations of Ethiopia and Uganda.
Students involved the entire school and spent time speaking to each class and encouraging donations. They also posted fliers throughout the school.
With just over 100 students in the kindergarten-through-sixth grade school, the total amount of books given averaged out to about ten per student.
The idea for taking part in Rescue Readers came from Rogers' practicum students — Northwest Missouri State University students preparing for careers in education.
"We were doing a lesson on community involvement," practicum student Amanda Capps said. "While talking about how groups can help meet the needs of a community, Jake (Krutzer) brought up the Rescue Readers, and the students wanted to help."
As the book drive progressed, the elementary students began learning about where the books will be going.
"We tied it in to culture lessons," said Krutzer, another practicum student. "We learned about Uganda and Ethiopia, and the kids saw where they were sending the books."
The African children who will receive the books are learning English as a second language.
Horace Mann fourth-graders turned the drive into something of a school-wide competition, which they won hands-down.
Horace Mann also raised roughly $80 to help offset the cost of shipping the books overseas.