GREENBRIER — A Bookcase for Every Child is a lofty goal, and Greenbrier is now jumping on that project with great enthusiasm. Members of the community hope to donate 50 bookcases for kids. 

A benefit dinner, complete with entertainment, is planned for Sept. 17 to help fund this event. Marilyn Battles of First Service Bank is heading the project. She is asking businesses and churches in Greenbrier to place a box in a convenient location to collect gently used or new children’s books to be placed in these bookcases.

The dinner is to raise funds for the oak lumber and materials to build the bookcases. Each bookcase is approximately 24 inches wide by 11 inches deep by 34 inches high with two shelves. In addition to containing a starter set of age-appropriate books, each bookcase will also have the child’s name on a brass plate. Rick and Matt Whitley, Whitley Cabinetry of Greenbrier, will donate their time to build the bookcases.

Jim Davidson, author of "Learning, Earning, and Giving Back," will be in attendance and promises a complimentary copy of his book to everyone at the banquet. The book is unique because 143 Faulkner County supporters (nine are companies from Greenbrier) each gave $100 for the printing. Davidson is the founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project.

Battles said, "We cannot do every child our first year, but this will go on for many years so we can make a difference in the lives of our kids and their parents." 

The goal is to build 50 bookcases the first year filled with books and distributed to targeted families in the Greenbrier School District. Battles further said, "The project began in Conway seven years ago and, so far, has presented 350 bookcases to children." 

Originally, low-income families were targeted with the idea of encouraging parents to read to their children, thus developing a lifelong love for reading. The distribution of the bookcases in Greenbrier will happen in early spring 2012, and selection of the chosen children will come from many sources, including teacher referrals.

The spaghetti dinner will be prepared and served at the Greenbrier Junior High School cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17. Entertainment will be provided by the Ward Family, a well-known gospel singing family in Faulkner County. They will be accompanied by pianist, Jonathan Sawrie. Tickets are $15.95 and will include a complimentary copy of Davidson’s book. 

Donations of books or money may be made at any bank or church in Greenbrier. For tickets to the benefit dinner, call Allene Clifton 501-679-2669 or Ola Hawks 501-679-4629 or Marilyn Battles 501-733-0529.