APPALACHIA, Va. - When was the last time you saw kids excited about books? At Appalachia Elementary they were more than excited to get a brand new book for free while visiting with some old friends.
Fritz & Co., a Fairfax accounting firm, visits every December with enough books for the whole school.
What looks like an average book fair is way more than that. It's a book fair, but the books are free. Each Appalachia Elementary student, small and tall, gets a free book.
What began as a Christmas project for Fritz & Co. has tuned into a commitment. It's their sixth year of providing each student a shiny new book. "Six years! Since 2008 we've been able to provide 2,000 books over that six-year period to the students, faculty and staff of the school," Bill Fritz says.
And over that time span Fritz tells us they've been able to watch the kids grow up. "I talked to some eighth graders who are now moving on to high school that were here the first year. We were down here and they were in third grade. We got a picture of [two students] in third grade sitting down and reading a book together, and they're still hanging out together," he said.
And the company keeps coming back. They chose Appalachia Elementary because they wanted to stay in Virginia and were looking for a school to help.
Don't think the students don't appreciate what's going on here -- this year they wrote the company letters. "We're reading [the letters] and some of them you just get goose bumps, because all of the kids are talking about how much they love new books and how much it means to them to have us come down," Lee Fritz says.
And there's plenty of smiles on the faces to go around. "They like to see the smiles on each others' faces and of course we love to see smiled on their faces," She said.
All because of getting their own shiny new book.