Winn-Dixie, Kelloggs donate thousands of books to students

6,000 books delivered to kids at Bayview Elementary School Tuesday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – "I love to read and we need some more books," said Bayview Elementary second-grade student Jamyia Wright.

That need was filled in a big way on Tuesday when Winn-Dixie and Kelloggs dropped off 6,000 new books to the Jacksonville school as a big surprise for the kids. 

"I was excited and I said, 'There's books,'" Wright said. "More people can learn and when your teacher tells you to read, you can read what's on the board."

Encouraging students to read was the goal of the book donation. Kids were also treated to snacks and drinks along with a visit from Duval County Schools mascot D.J.

"I like books and I like snacks and water," said second-grader Zachary Smith.

The donation is part of the grocery store's partnership with Kellogg's to provide age-appropriate books to students in low-income households.​ Bayview's principal said having their own books will encourage  students to read more. 

"They get to take it home and they get to share it with their families. We want them to read to their parents, we want them to read to anybody," said Principal Lindsey Connor. "Sometimes reality is sad, sometimes it's disappointing, and (with books) they get to really imagine themselves as that character and create a new world."

Winn-Dixie regional vice president Shawn Sloan read a story to the group, then each student received a book of their own. It didn't take long before the kids started reading their new books.

"What I'm reading right now is the science book of the black lagoon," said second-grader Nevan.

It wasn't just the students who benefited from the book donation.

"Understanding how to read and learn more everyday is so important with my job and what I do because everyday I learn something new," said Sloan.

After snack time and some fun with D.J., it was back to class. Winn-Dixie said they won't stop here. The company said 30,000 books will be given to students across the region.