Hambright Elementary teacher honors grandmother with book donations

Penn Manor School District  |  Posted on

When third-grade teacher at Hambright Elementary School Lorien Gilbert’s beloved grandmother died Sept. 6, she wanted to honor the woman who had helped raise her and instill in her a lifelong love of reading. Mary McReynolds, a children’s librarian in Lithonia, Ga., “wanted all children to see themselves in books, regardless of their race, gender, orientation, religion or ability,” said Gilbert. On the morning after her grandmother died, Gilbert went to the Hambright library “to be close to some of her favorite books,” including The Napping House, Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? and Anne of Green Gables. Librarian Tara Etzweiler suggested Gilbert purchase a book in memory of her grandmother, and Gilbert seized the opportunity. Gilbert purchased graphic novels, picture books, nonfiction, poetry and fantasy titles. “It was easy to find incredible stories featuring diverse characters,” she said. So far, nearly 50 titles have been added to the collection. All the books will include a book plate describing “Miss Mary” McReynolds that includes this phrase: “Remember that you are important, and you have a voice, and we are glad you are here.”