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BrainFood book drive collecting donations for low-income elementary students

There is still some time to donate new and gently used books to low-income elementary school children in Lawrence.

Several schools in town — including St. John’s Catholic School, Deerfield, Lawrence and Free State high schools, and Central, Southwest, and West middle schools — have been collecting books for the drive.

The Jayhawk Breakfast Rotary Club coordinates the effort, called the BrainFood book drive. The drive collects books for the United Way of Douglas County’s BrainFood program, which sends books home with low-income children who receive backpacks full of food to take home over the weekend.

West Middle School completed its drive recently, and collected more than 2,000 books from students and parents at the school, said Wendie Wilcken, reading specialist at the school.

West Middle School students pose with books donated to the BrainFood program.

West Middle School students pose with books donated to the BrainFood program.

Between books donated at schools and those purchased by a grant from the rotary club to the BrainFood program, about 5,500 books have been collected so far, said Micki Chestnut, the drive’s coordinator and communications director for the United Way.

Chestnut said that 11 elementary schools currently participate in the BrainFood program, which began at Kennedy Elementary two years ago. Chestnut said there is no final day for the drive, but that it will be winding down soon. Those with book donations can drop them off at the United Way, 2518 Ridge Court.


In other news and notes:

• The fitness fair at Langston Hughes Elementary will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

• The New York Elementary garden club will meet from 3:05 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.

• “Eat and Earn” night for Prairie Park Elementary students will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Chipotle, 1420 W. 23rd St.

Quail Run Elementary track club will meet from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

• The Southwest Middle School feeder orchestra concert will be at Free State High School at 7:30 p.m.

• The West Middle School chamber band concert will be at 7 p.m.

• The north area strings concert will be at 7:30 p.m. at Free State High School.


Lunch menu options:

Elementary school level

Main dish: chicken quesadilla; black bean quesadilla; tuna sandwich; peanut butter and jelly with string cheese; chef salad with breadstick

Sides: refried beans, tomato salsa, tropical fruit salad, salad bar, milk

Middle school level

Main dish: chicken quesadilla; black bean quesadilla; tuna sandwich; hamburger; peanut butter and jelly with string cheese; chef salad with breadstick; veggie shaker

Sides: refried beans, salad bar, frozen fruit cup, 100 percent juice, fruit juice, fresh fruit, tomato salsa, milk

High school level

Main dish: chicken nuggets with roll; sloppy Joe on bun; cereal with string cheese; parfaits with muffin; pizza; veggie shaker; peanut butter and jelly with string cheese; chef salad with breadstick; daily sandwiches; deli bar

Sides: mashed potatoes with gravy, baked beans, salad bar, frozen fruit cup, fresh fruit, fruit sorbet, fruit juice, oven potatoes, milk


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