For the past eight years, children in the Lehighton Area School District have had the opportunity to trade their old books for some new (to them) books at the Lehighton Community Book Swap.
The 8th Annual Lehighton Community Book Swap, held Friday at the Lehighton Area Middle School brought out lots of youngsters and many adults, looking for some great literature.
The event was sponsored by the Lehighton Area Education Association, Pennsylvania State Education Association and the National Education Association who teamed up for the event.
For six-year-old twins, Devon Solt and Ashley Solt, they had fun looking for new books. Devon picked up 21 books, while Ashley decided on 10. They "shopped" for books with their nana, Sue Solt. The children are in first grade at Shull-David Elementary School.
Among those having a great time finding a book was 20-month-old Aiden McCarroll. He was assisted in picking out books by his mom, Jessica McCarroll, who is a teacher at the Lehighton High School.
"We have a lot of teachers helping out this year," said Ron Rabenold, who chairs the event. "We've had some graduates come back to help who were at the event for the past eight years."
Rabenold said that this year there were approximately 8,000 books available for this years event. The books are sorted by age category and placed on the floor throughout the gymnasium.
"We had some grant funds available from our grant we received last year, so we were able to purchase about $1,000 worth of new books again this year," Rabenold said. He added that the children in the elementary Title I reading program are bused to the event earlier in the day and they help set up the books.
"For their payment for helping, they are given a new book as payment," said Rabenold. "There were at least 60 kids here to help set up."
The middle school Parent Teacher Organization was selling food from the cafeteria.
Also assisting at the event were Faye Hlavaty and Kaye Miller, who were dressed up as Thing I and Thing II, to assist the children with selecting books.
Rabenold said that in the past, some of the books have gone to the Cops and Kids program in the Lehigh Valley and to Carbon County Head Start.
"At the end of the event, we always have lots of good books left, which were overlooked," he said.
Rabenold said that he has spoken to other school districts, both in and out of state, about how to run a book swap.