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Books delivered to students in Ellinwood and Hoisington
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Ellinwood High School students delivered books to Ellinwood Grade School students. Back row, from left, are EHS students: Jared Oelke, Brooke Panning, Kyle Oglesbee, Sophie Hayes and Linn Hogg, VIA coordinator; and front row, are second grade EGS students: Nate Henderson, Cole Ringwald, Brooklyn Ramsey, Mason Moore, and Chesney Crawford. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

The statement, “Reading is freedom,” has been ringing through the Barton County elementary schools this week.
As part of a Martin Luther King Jr. grant project through the Kansas Volunteer Commission, Volunteers In Action purchased books for all the elementary school libraries.
“There is something very awe inspiring about opening a box and pulling out brand new, hard cover books and placing them in front of these students,” said VIA coordinator Linn Hogg. “You just won’t forget the look on the children’s face when they pick a new book up, open it and start to turn the pages.”
Ellinwood High School VIA members and Sunflower State Bank Student Ambassadors, Sophie Hayes, Brooke Panning, Jared Oelke, Kyle Oglesbee helped to deliver the books to Ellinwood elementary schools on Tuesday. They were able to share their stories about volunteering and how it makes them better people. Ellinwood’s St. Joseph Catholic school also received books.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.”
“Two things that can really round out a person, build confidence and create great futures is volunteerism and reading,” said Hogg. “That is why we wanted to create a project that would combine these two things.”