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Book swap set for April 30 in Hagerstown

March 07, 2005|by JANET HEIM

Last year, Alex Smelgus went above and beyond the requirements for a school service project when he put together the Washington County Children's Book Day and Swap.

The event was such a success that he is organizing it again this year and hopes to make it an annual event.

Alex, then a fifth-grader at Emma K. Doub School for the Integrated Arts and Technology, now goes to E. Russell Hicks Middle School.

He said it was his love for reading and desire to generate an interest in reading by helping local elementary and middle school students start or add to their own book collections that prompted him to organize the book swap.

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This year's Book Day & Swap will be held on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown Building at 20 Public Square downtown.

There will be free books, door prizes, storytellers, refreshments and more.

Alex is seeking book donations - either new or gently used - as well as volunteers to help at the event, and help in providing refreshments.

He's also hoping people will donate money. He'd like to raise $2,000 to help cover event expenses and purchase additional books.

Dropoff sites for books include: Home & School Connection, 18727A North Village Center; Curves for Women, 18702 North Village Center; Hagerstown Day Nursery, 102 E. Washington St.; First Christian Church, 1345 Potomac Ave.; Good Shepherd Ministries, 19763 Longmeadow Road; Nazarene Church, 141 N. Edgewood Drive; Otterbein United Methodist Church, 108 E. Franklin St.; Rehoboth United Methodist Church, 30 E. Salisbury St.; St. John's Lutheran Church, 141 S. Potomac St.; St. Joseph Catholic Church, 17628 Virginia Ave.; and Trinity Lutheran Church, 15 Randolph St.

Checks may be made payable to Washington County Free Library (write "Partners in Literacy Alex" in memo section) and sent to Washington County Free Library, 100 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

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