Llama Llama Red Pajama, Cat in the Hat, and Curious George are not titles you would ordinarily find in a law firm’s library, but at Kennerly Montgomery these books, along with many others, can be found right alongside Black’s Law Dictionary and the Tennessee Code Annotated.
Although our attorneys have been known to enjoy tales of princesses, pirates and dinosaurs, these books are actually for the benefit of the kindergarten class at one local elementary school. Christenberry Elementary is situated in a low-income community where age appropriate reading materials are scarce. As a firm, we decided that the idea of children in our community without books was unacceptable and decided to “adopt” Christenberry's kindergarten class.
At Kennerly Montgomery, we believe that reading is an integral part of a child’s education and that literacy opens doors of opportunity and understanding that no other skill provides. Our goal is to inspire a community of readers by giving children the opportunity to succeed through literacy. So our attorneys and staff began collecting new and used “level one readers” and other age-appropriate children’s books. Firm involvement was extraordinary and in no time we had collected enough books to have our first distribution event. We carted the boxes of books over to the school and allowed each student to choose two that interested them. The event was a great success.
We have since been distributing books to the school every nine weeks, and at the end of the year we hold our largest distribution event. The teachers explained to us that their students lose the most reading progress between kindergarten and first grade, so at the end of the school year we fill a reading tote bag with new and used books and supplies such as notebooks, crayons and pencils to get the students through the summer months.
Each time we have a distribution event we see the impact that our little project is making. Don’t take it from us, just look at what some of the school’s staff had to say:
“The excitement that I have seen from them [the students] when receiving books will certainly translate into a love for reading that will stay with them forever! I am so grateful for the law firm and all they have done for my students!”
“Students are able to choose books they enjoy and practice the reading skills they learn in school each day. You cannot place a value on this gift – a love for reading!”
“It is a blessing to see individuals reaching out to an inner city school to offer our children items as simple as books that they would otherwise not be able to obtain.”
If you would like to contribute, we accept monetary donations and books of any kind. We can always use pencils, crayons, note pads, stickers, book bags, etc. A small gesture such as this can make an immense impact. To make a contribution, please contact Ashley Trotto by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (865)-546-7311.
We will have 2 more distributions for this school year, on March 4th, and May 6th.