Bats, books, youth

Senior hosts community service project on Halloween


Hagdorn loads up the books to hand out.

Maddie Mata, Managing Editor

Halloween night, children walk door to door in costumes they planned out months before, expecting enough candy to last them through the winter. However, sticky taffy and milk chocolates won’t be the only treats kids will take from senior Halle Hagdorn’s house.

As a part of her community service project, Hagdorn will hand out free books of all reading levels to trick-or-treaters that visit her house Thursday evening on Oct. 31.

“So far, I feel like my project has been very successful,” Hagdorn said. “I enjoy reading and want others to be able to enjoy it as well, and I think we will see a lot of kids from the community while they trick-or-treat so it’s perfect.”

In December of 2018, Hagdorn competed and won the local American Legion (AL) oratorical contest where contestants had to write a speech on an aspect of the Constitution.

“A few months after competing, the AL informed me of the chance to attend the Bluebonnet Girls State Camp,” Hagdorn said. “I decided to take the opportunity and was sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary and local American Legion.”

Hagdorn attended the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Bluebonnet Girls State government and leadership camp in June where she learned about the influence an individual can have in a community, democracy, environment and society.

“After coming home, I wanted to try and create something I feel passionate about that would help the Devine community,” Hagdorn said. “I decided to collect books all summer and create ‘Book Allies’ to help redistribute the gently used books and promote literacy in the community.”

With the help of her family, Hagdorn collected donated books throughout the summer.

“We created a Facebook page called ‘Book Allies’ to spread information about the project,” Hagdorn said. “We drove around collecting books from people and businesses that messaged me about donating. The rest of the summer, we had a box outside of my house for people to leave books in. We collected over 2500 books.”

On both “Meet the Teacher” nights in Devine, Hagdorn invited friends to help with the project by passing out books to middle school and elementary students.

“Halle’s project is a great way to encourage kids to read more,” junior Brooke Runyan said. “I also think it’s a great way to help students get easier access to books to read at home and to accomplish their A.R. requirements.”

Hagdorn chose to promote literacy because she believes reading is a necessary skill and wanted to help supply books needed for exposure.

“Because my mom is a reading teacher, she tells me about how many kids don’t have resources to read,” Hagdorn said. “I am excited to pass out books on Halloween, provide easier access to books and hopefully positively impact my community.”