“Getting books in the hands of kids,” Addie and Baylor Kirchgessner Foundation host first official book fair

Panama City Beach

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)– The family of Addie and Baylor Kirchgessner, the two children who tragically passed away in a car accident at Coconut Creek Family Fun Park were at West Bay Elementary for the first official book fair.

Addie and Baylor Kirchgessner loved reading so the parents partnered with Scholastic Book Fair to give every student at West Bay Elementary to allow the students to pick two books to read and keep for free. The students had 1,000 books to choose from.

The Kirchgessners raised $25,000 from the golf scramble in October, and they say are committed to helping ensure each dollar goes back to the community. Their mother, Lauren Kirchgessner, said it’s an honor to carry on the legacy of Addie and Baylor.

“It’s hard. It’s definitely hard, but we know that our kids want us moving forward and making sure that we are bringing out the best in what they loved, and they loved reading and they loved helping, so that is what we are here to do,” Kirchgessner said.

Kirchgessner said her biggest joy was seeing the kids faces light up with joy upon receiving the books.

Back in April, the Addie and Baylor Kirchgessner foundation paired up with West Bay Elementary to do a penny war and raise money to purchase books. The foundation matched the amount raised, totaling $500. All books raised are going to local foster care families.

For this book fair, Scholastic will match every dollar spent by donating $0.50 cents back to the school so the school can purchase more books.

“This is so important for the kids. Studies show that children that read for 20 minutes a day perform better in school, and they are even more apt to read when they get to choose their books,” said West Bay Media Specialist, Jane Schmidt.

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