The opening event of the 2021 Celebration of Literacy campaign, titled “Blast Off for the Gigantic Book Giveaway,” got off to a fantastic start at Fir Grove Elementary School on Saturday.

As early as 10 a.m., traffic on West Harvard Avenue was slowed to a single lane near the school as cars full of parents and eager readers lined up to go through the elementary school parking lot for free books.

The drive-thru book pick-up had separate tables for specific reading levels: kindergarten to first grade, second and third grade, etc., through high school-age readers.

Event organizer Karen Fager of the Roseburg chapter of Altrusa International, estimated that the event had served close to 200 cars in the first two hours of the event, which began at 10 a.m. and closed at 2 p.m.

“People were very patient,” Fager said. “We just want them to be happy at the end of the day.”

Student athletes from Umpqua Community College helped to set up the book stations and handed out books throughout the event.

The book drive also had assistance from the Roseburg High School Astra Club and members of the Umpqua Literacy Council.

The “Grab and Go” event will be held Tuesday at the Roseburg Public Library. The Riddle Library will have an event on Thursday, complete with a rocket building display, and Glendale will have a book giveaway Friday.

The next drive-thru book giveaway is scheduled at Wildlife Safari from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Donovan Brink can be reached at and 541-957-4219.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

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