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Organizations partner to give away books

From left to right, Chaselyn Martin, Desmond Martin, Beverlyn Seroy, Phyllis Pierce, Lola Simmons, Sonja Green, Arthur Capers, Kalim Muhammad, Michael Morgan, Lovell Fails, Liz Smiley, Jerria Martin, A. M. Johnson and Kayla Chappell gather in front of Calhoun’s Foods Tuesday to pose for a picture with a few of the books they plan on donating to local students.

From left to right, Chaselyn Martin, Desmond Martin, Beverlyn Seroy, Phyllis Pierce, Lola Simmons, Sonja Green, Arthur Capers, Kalim Muhammad, Michael Morgan, Lovell Fails, Liz Smiley, Jerria Martin, A. M. Johnson and Kayla Chappell gather in front of Calhoun’s Foods Tuesday to pose for a picture with a few of the books they plan on donating to local students.

Several Black Belt organizations are teaming up to provide local students with one of the most essential keys to learning.

Calhoun Foods, Selma City Schools, Dallas County Schools, the Selma-Dallas County Public Library and the Selma Institute for Peace and Prosperity have joined forces to put books into the hands of students.

“This is a partnership that we did with First Book, and First Book is a national organization that gives books and focuses on literacy,” said Jimmie Coleman, Calhoun Foods chief operating officer.

The organizations plan to give away around 10,000 books to the community on Dec. 13 at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m.

“Now what we’re doing is a down payment on literacy for our area, to really push this,” Coleman said. “I know technology is out there, but reading is fundamental.”

Coleman said reading is a basic skill that students have to learn to be able to achieve greater things in life and stressed the importance of the community giving back to the children.

“These same kids that we’re [giving books to] are going to be our employees in the future. It’s definitely an investment for us,” Coleman said. “We want the community to know that Calhoun Foods, as always, is still active in the community.”

The free book giveaway will be Dec. 13 from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. on the front lawn of the library or inside if the weather does not permit.