mjordan2@sdale.orgWalmart and Kellogg’s partnered March 15 to donate 500 books to Shaw Elementary School classroom libraries.

“The greatest thing about a book is that it’s the gift that keeps on giving,” said Shelly Bewley, Shaw Elementary School principal.

Shaw was one of five schools nationally and the only Arkansas school to receive a gift of 500 books, said Kelly LaVergne, W.K. Kellogg Co. channel strategy and planning senior director.

The school’s 680 K-5 students were chosen to receive the gift after reading more than 360,000 minutes in a read-a-thon, she said.

“I think everyone understands the value of reading,” LaVergne said. “I hope it’s something they can do with their families and they fall in love with reading like we have.”

Walmart associates from Store 54 in Springdale and Store 359 in Fayetteville also participated in the event, sharing the Walmart cheer with participants, gifting a bookmark to each child and providing snacks to help students start the day.

Cara Grams, Walmart team associate, said she participated in the event “to celebrate the literacy of youth.”

Laurie Smalling, Walmart community relations senior director, thanked parents and teachers for supporting the school’s students.

“We value giving back to our school community,” Smalling said.

The books were donated as part of W.K. Kellogg’s Feeding Happiness initiative, which LaVergne said has a long history of serving children and the community.

Feeding Happiness aims to positively impact people and the planet through three focus areas: Make Eating Well Easy, Help Kids Be Their Best and Better Our Communities, according to the W.K. Kellogg website.