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Fox Elementary teachers replenish classroom libraries with thousands of donated books

Fire destroyed the school on Feb. 11
Published: Feb. 26, 2022 at 7:10 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 14, 2022 at 3:22 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Teachers started to rebuild their classroom libraries thanks to donations from a book drive following the devastating Fox Elementary School fire.

About 80 volunteers spent more than two weeks turning the thousands of donated books into a full-on bookstore for the teachers to shop starting on Monday at Saint James Episcopal Church.

“The response has been enormous, we’re very thankful,” said Clare Tilton, Fox PTA reserve member.

Thanks to the drive at First Baptist Church along Monument Avenue Saturday, almost all of the books that went up in flames weeks ago will be replaced.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to see how volunteers, parents, family and friends from around the city will come out and help all of our schools, especially Fox after such a horrifc loss,” said PTA member Sarah Gross.

PTA co-chair Wendy Martin was overwhelmed with the response as community members dropped off books by the trunk full.

“Cars unload, we take a quick picture with them to give them a thank you...it’s been really emotional, we’re seeing a lot of love for the school today.”

The drive brought in more books than any of the volunteers could have imagined.

Almost all of the books that went up in flames will be replaced.
Almost all of the books that went up in flames will be replaced.(NBC12)

“I would say tens of thousands of books today and the quality of the books that I’ve seen have been exceptional, there’s a lot of former teachers coming through, a lot of former educators, we had a woman drive up from Roanoke. Fredericksburg, all over this area,” said Martin.

Parents with older children who graduated from Fox years ago even came out of retirement to lend a hand.

“Fox is just an anchor to the community, whether you have children there or not,” said Tilton.

The turnout is just proof enough that the Fox community continues to go the extra mile for the students, families and teachers affected.

“Anybody who has loved this school, this school needs you now,” said Martin. If you went here, if you taught here if you attended here, now is the time to show up for this school.”

For anyone who missed the drive, the PTA still has resources for those who still want to help here.

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