ABC 7, Disney's Magic of Storytelling donate thousands of books to South Side elementary school

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The love of literature is on full display at Schmid Elementary School on Chicago's South Side.

Volunteers sorted roughly 2,000 books donated through Disney's Magic of Storytelling campaign on Friday. Disney and nonprofit First Book donated the books, and ABC 7 partnered with Burst Into Books.

"I always believe that the children can travel through the world just by reading books so that donation is extremely important," said kindergarten teacher Maria Kittrell.

Real Men Read also invited men from the community to spend time sharing their love of literature with students Friday.

It's Jabari Evans' second year participating.

"Particularly at this age, you never know where that little five minutes that you spent might go a long way and they'll remember down the road," Evans said.

ABC 7 Anchor and Reporter Mark Rivera spent some time reading "Bruce's Big Move" to a kindergarten class as well.

"This gives an opportunity not only for our scholars to see men from across the community show love and appreciation for them but also highlights how important academics are, especially literacy," said Schmid Principal Andrea Black.

Third grader Ciara Johnson said she loves reading "because it tells me more information about stuff I don't know and it helps me learn new things."

Principal Black said she's grateful for the partnership that gave her students this experience.

"When do you get an opportunity to walk into a room and say pick whatever book that you want," Black said.
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