The thousands of books scattered all over the gym floor of the Lehighton Area Middle School on Friday afternoon served as a reminder and an encouragement to young and old alike during the celebration of Read Across America Week.
The nationwide event marked the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, beloved writer and cartoonist, who was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Ronald Rabenold, a teacher at the Lehighton Area Middle School, said that the sixth annual Lehighton Community Book Swap didn't have as many books this year as last year, but there were more people who came to seek books.
"We're almost cleaned out," he said, smiling as he watched a few youngsters choosing books.
The book swap has a simple concept. You bring a book – you take a book.
"There were a lot of happy people here," said Rabenold. "This project was a culmination of a lot of people's efforts. A lot of the teachers helped and we have to give a lot of credit to Gloria Bowman and the principals from the schools."
Bowman is in charge of curriculum and grant writing for Lehighton Area School District. He also had high praise for Ray Moyer who, for the last six years, has volunteered his time as a fire police to help with parking.
Rabenold said that the Title I children were bused in early to help set up the books and then were given an opportunity to choose a book for free for helping. He also had help from the Lehighton High School Honor Society and Thing I and Thing II, plus the Grinch and The Cat in the Hat were helping the youngsters choose books.
Thing 1 is Faye Halavety and Thing 2 is her twin sister, Kaye Miller. Kale Kresge was the Cat in the Hat, while Greg Ebbert was the Grinch.
Rabenold said that the school spent approximately $1,400 on some new books and to charter the buses for the Title I children.
"I really like how the parents come out and stand around and talk about books," he said. "It's nice to see them catch up with old friends."
Rabenold added that a teacher from South Mountain Middle School attended the event and exchanged 200 books for her school.
"Not only is our community benefiting, but we have people from out of the area getting new books," he said.