Thank you to District Partner in Education Zaxby's and their "Urgency to Serve Grants" for helping to make "Barrow Book Boxes" a reality! During the 2021-2022 school year, 38 students from the Newcomer Academy collected and sorted donated books and helped paint and finish the book boxes. They will continue organizing book drives and will be responsible for maintaining the boxes and ensuring they are stocked with books, didactic materials, and literacy activities. Newcomer Academy teacher and grant writer, Anabel Snyder says, "The ultimate purpose of this project is to foster citizenship and literacy inside and outside our classrooms."
Although the goal of the Barrow Book Box project is to reach as many children as possible in the Barrow County community; the first to benefit from this activity are the students from Winder-Barrow High School, Apalachee High School and the Barrow Arts & Sciences Academy who attend Newcomer Academy at Sims Academy.
Newcomer Academy serves Barrow County students new to the country who have little to no English proficiency. Participation in this project provides them with the opportunity to give back to their new community while reinforcing the sense of belonging developed within the program.
Newcomer student, Eduardo, says, "I think that this project is very important because we can help more people, they will have the opportunity to read new things. I think that Newcomer has grown since the day I arrived. I like the idea to help more people, and I think it is a good example for motivated people to help their community, it doesn’t have to be big things."
In partnership with the Winder Housing Authority, three communities with a large population of children were identified for the installation of our first three Book Boxes.
- Hardigree Terrace (near playground): 29 Marion Lay St. Winder
- Oakwood Homes: 199 James Albert Johnson Ave. Winder
- Dunaway Massey Homes: 1685 Atlanta Hwy., SE Statham
Ms. Snyder says, "Newcomers could not have accomplished this without Mr. Steven Griffing, Engineering Instructor at Sims Academy. He transformed the sketch into the solid, whimsical Book Boxes."