No matter how much viewing and watching children do, reading remains a powerful developmental tool. Kindergarten students at Zion Lutheran School in Bethalto are receiving more encouragement to read from a group of benefactors during this 2020-2021 school year.

When Zion kindergarten teacher Holly Rupprecht put out a call for book donations on her Facebook page, several of her friends responded. Through a special program from Scholastic Publishing (, this group of donors is purchasing one book per month for each student in Rupprecht’s class from September 2020 through May 2021. Students are reading their books at school and taking them home to add to their personal libraries.


Maureen Johnson — mother of 2-year-old twins and an avid reader, book lover, podcaster, software specialist and literacy encourager — is one of those special donors who responded to the call.

“We want to help make sure all children have more books in their lives and their homes,” Johnson said. “We also want to encourage parents to read with their children at home. As a parent, I would be ecstatic to know that others beyond my child’s teacher and my network care about my child.”

“Taking the time to sit and read to a child can make all the difference in that child’s reading success,” Rupprecht said.

“We are grateful for these books!” one parent told Rupprecht. “My child was so excited, he had both of us close our eyes so he could surprise us with his new book.”

For more information, visit Contact Zion Lutheran School directly at (618) 377-5507 or 

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