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Ponderosa students stock up on books thanks to Q2's 'If You Give A Child A Book' campaign

Posted at 10:28 AM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 12:32:03-05

BILLINGS - Book fair week closely resembled Christmas morning at Ponderosa Elementary School.

Each student got to pick out five books this week.

It was all made possible by Scholastic, the Scripps Howard Foundation, and donations from Q2 viewers.

“A lot of the students don’t have access to books at home. Families have other priorities, so it is really great to be able to give books to family members and let them read together. It’s very important to really instill that importance of reading and the love of reading,” said Candi Korf, Ponderosa’s library media specialist.

Seeing this level of excitement over books is like a dream come true for Korf.

“For me, I just can’t explain how it feels when I see how excited they are to get books and get to keep them,” Korf said.

Studies show when children get to select their own books, they are more likely to enjoy reading and score higher on comprehension tests.

“We have basically every genre, every age level covered here. And there are also some fun little trinkets that come along with it that’s fun to get at a book fair,” Korf said.

“I got a Lego book, Among Us book, a dog book,” said second-grade student Mason Wood.

Melaina Howell, a third-grade student at Ponderosa was excited to come across what she called her ‘dream book,’“Kleptocats”.

“I like how it excites me, you know. And sometimes I get a good laugh out of some books,” Howell said.

Come this May, the students will get to pick out five more books, meaning more than 4,000 will be gifted to students from this campaign.

“Our kiddos are very loving and they think of their families. As they’re looking through, they know they get five books, well they instantly start thinking about their siblings, and the little ones at home, the baby at home even,” said Clay Herron, the principal at Ponderosa.

Q2 will team up with another local Title I school next year.

For a limited time, the link to donate to the If You Give A Child A Book campaign is active, and any money raised will go toward next year’s campaign.(

All money donated through Q2 will stay local.

“I wish everybody could be here to see the enjoyment and the excitement in person. Because you can’t explain it, so thank you to everybody,” Herron said.

Q2 raised $20,400 last August, which exceeded the station's goal and allowed for the selection of a second school.

Pioneer Elementary School on Dover Road held its book fair on Tuesday.

Book fair hosted at Pioneer School for Q2's If You Give A Child A Book campaign

“Having a book fair like this and having the kids be able to have such a variety is life-saving for some of these kids, to be able to continue what they love to do and find that series and really get to know the characters and feel that journey that the characters of these books are in,” said Taylor Eissinger, a second-grade teacher at Pioneer School.

The children at Pioneer were able to pick out seven books on Tuesday.

“I really like chapter books, sometimes scary books," said Fiona Keith, a second-grade student at Pioneer.

“I love reading because it’s entertaining. Sometimes when I’m reading a chapter book, I can picture the characters myself and what they look like,” said Addie Powell, a sixth-grade student.

All books given out during the campaign are completely free for students.

“If fabulous. It affords our students that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to have literature at home, now they get to bring some books home, so that’s exciting," said Melissa Schnitzmeier, Pioneer principal and superintendent.