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Making a literate society, one book at a time

Superintendent Dr. David Hornak and Town Supervisor John Hayhoe are passing out many books


Managing Editor

Jami Sailer


Imagine when you were younger and you were sitting with your parents or siblings and they are reading your favorite book. That was something that we used to look forward to, and now with new technology kids are reading on their devices or having their devices read to them. The physical book is not like it used to be. Now Superintendent Dr. David Hornak and Town Supervisor John Hayhoe are passing out physical books and making little free libraries around town, to change this.

Dr. David Hornak at a parade handing out hundreds of books with volunteers. | Photo credit: John Hayhoe

Over the last 2 years, between 6 and 7 thousand books have been passed out. The books are passed out during the Holt and Dimondale parades as well as during Halloween in the park at the memorial garden.

Dr. Hornak said, “we want to make access points to books and literature relatively easy.”

The idea of passing out books was born about 2 years ago when Hayhoe invited Dr. Hornak to join him in the parade to throw out candy.

Dr. Hornak said, “I felt goofy about giving candy out so I had this thought that not everyone has a robust library of books in their home and if we want to have a literate society we need to make sure children have access to books.”

Hayhoe thought that passing out books was a good idea and started collecting books from community members that were ready to recycle their books. All the community members have to do is contact Hayhoe on Facebook and he will make arrangements to show up at their house to put the books in the back of his truck.

“We have a storage facility where we will then sort the books with help from National Honors Society,” said Hayhoe.

The books are sorted, with the help of the National Honors Society, into age respective piles that then go through a screening to make sure they are appropriate. If they are not appropriate, like they are religious or adult reads, the books are donated to somewhere else. Also, many volunteers help to pass out the books during the parades with Dr. Hornak as Hayhoe drives the truck and pulls the trailer full of books.

Dr. Daivd Hornak and John Hayhoe created a little free book library at the Holt Farmers Market. Kids can take books and it has to be restocked every 2 weeks. | Photo credit: John Hayhoe

“We take volunteers and we try and hand out between 750 and 1000 books each parade and I would not be able to do that if it was just me and I am happy the community and rallying behind this idea,” said Dr. Hornak.

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