Children’s books for tornado victims in Moore, Okla., are being collected through Wednesday at Vilonia Schools, the University of Central Arkansas and Centennial Bank locations.

The books are being collected as part of the Bookworm Bags organization, a local literacy project founded by Kelsey Theall, whose goal is to get books into the hands of low-income and underprivileged children.

About a thousand books have already been donated to the cause, following the circulation of an email through the Vilonia school district by Samantha Mashburn, second grade teacher and co-founder of the organization.

"When we heard about the tragedy, we figured why not extend a helping hand to them and see if we can gather up some books and bags for these kids who have lost everything," Mashburn said.

Bookworm Bags is a family effort, spearheaded by sisters Theall and Mashburn, and their mother Cheryl Theall, who works for the University of Central Arkansas.

Representatives, including students from Vilonia Middle School, plan on delivering the books to Moore following the Wednesday deadline. Other donation points will be established in the area throughout the weekend.

(Megan Reynolds is a staff writer and can be reached by phone at 501-505-1277 or by e-mail at Follow us on Twitter @meganpreynolds, @LCDonline.)