EDMOND, Okla. - Along these shelves and buried within countless pages are journeys, lessons and knowledge that reach far beyond the bounds of any book or school district.
"We have a very diverse group of students at our elementary school, and not everyone can afford what we can in Edmond,” Diane Jackson said.
For years this is where Jackson has quietly made sure that's happened for all students who grace these library walls. But on this day she's invited to another literary gathering - commonplace books. She thinks she's meeting another teacher for lunch. She is, but after we pay it forward
"I told her we were having a back to school lunch before school,” Cheri Crabtree said.
For years Crabtree has watched as Diane humbly worked behind the scenes.
"She is just such a generous person. She is somebody who works in the background,” Cheri said. “Not a lot of people see what she does..."
"She takes time out of her own day and spends her own money to buy books for reluctant readers or to replace library books for kids who maybe can't afford to replace them so they can keep checking out books. She provided transportation to some boys who would not be able to attend summer school without her help and other teachers help,” she said.
So along with First Fidelity Bank, News 4 met Cheri right around the corner and then head inside for the surprise.
"Diane you're always working in the background to make sure kids have what they need, and a s a reading specialist I appreciate how you spend your own time and money to buy books for reluctant readers or to replace lost library books so kids can continue to read,” Cheri said. "You inspire me to be a better person, a better teacher, and a better friend. So on behalf of Channel 4 and First Fidelity I would like to Pay It Forward, and I'll always be there to scour the bookstores for you."
"Good, because there were some new books I needed for the school. That's so nice."
And in typical library fashion, Diane doesn't talk about what she's doing. She's quiet about, and as we quickly learned doesn't like the limelight or attention. She does it from the heart.
“Whenever I see a need I try to fill in especially when a student has lost a book, I try to replace it for them, because a lot of them can't afford it,” she said. “I kind of like to do it behind the scenes, I've never really wanted anybody to know about it, but I've done it for a long time."
Paying it forward...One book...One child at a time.
Pay It 4ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.