Donations help Wichita elementary students continue reading outside of school

WICHITA, Kan. Even for some bright students, reading can be challenging. To help those students who struggle, one Wichita teacher is taking an extra step to make sure not just her class, but the entire school this year, is able to take books home to read.

The power of social media helped make the teacher's goal attainable. With school starting this week in the Wichita school district, Enterprise Elementary fifth-grade teacher Kristen Yacenda knew she wanted to do something special for her students. She wanted to put a book in their hands. She especially sought to help students who face poverty at home.

"They're so young and they've been through more than I can even say I've been through and they're only in fifth grade," Yacenda says.

She asked for help on social media, looking for people willing to put forward $9 to sponsor a fifth grader. Nine dollars is all it takes for a student to bring new books home for the entire school year, Yacenda explains. Scholastic books cost $1 each.

Yacenda says she never expected to see so many responses. The levels of support range from agreeing to sponsoring a student to wanting to sponsor an entire classroom of about 25 students.

In the effort, Yacenda raised almost $3,000. After receiving so many donations for her classroom, she decided to see if she could raise enough money for the entire school year.

"The fact of just seeing a book in their hand and they get to bring it home, it brings a smile to my face, knowing that something so little can help make a big difference in their life," Yacenda says.

If you'd like to help Yacenda, you can reach out by sending an email to her at, or reach her on Facebook: Kristen Yacenda.