Members of Mesquite Sunrise Rotary pause for a photo as their annual book sale opened April 13 at the Mesquite Library.

Blue skies and an ocean of books greeted the avid readers who showed up at the Mesquite Reads Book Sale on April 13. Staged this year on the front courtyard of the new Mesquite Library, the sale was sponsored by Mesquite Sunrise Rotary.

The annual  fundraiser benefits Mesquite Reads, a summer reading program that aims to assure that all our local elementary students read to grade level by third grade.

Identified as a key reason for success or failure in school and job performance, the ability to read well is a source of pride and satisfaction for children in their formative years. Without the basic ability to read, a child can emotionally “drop out” of school as lessons become  harder in upper grades, and actually leave school when graduation begins to seem an impossibility.

Mesquite Reads was initiated in 2014 when Virgin Valley Elementary School Principal Cathy Davis and first grade teacher Lupe Guzman appealed to Andre Carrier and Gerri Chasko at Eureka Community Initiative for help in starting a summer program for lagging students.

Browsers found hundreds of books to choose from at the Mesquite Reads Book Sale.

Carrier and Chasko became the champions for that program that now assists students of Virgin Valley Elementary, Bowler Elementary, and Beaver Dam Elementary. Together, the Eureka and the schools mobilized the community to support the cost of the program that now goes into its sixth summer.

Mesquite Sunrise Rotary has taken on sponsorship of the book sale that annually raises more than $1,000 for Mesquite Reads. The service organization shoulders the work of collecting, storing and staging the sale of used books donated by the community.

It’s not unusual to find hundreds of best sellers, precious classics and engaging nonfiction topics such as animal care, local history and self-help books among the tables carefully organized in the library courtyard.

Parents find many new stories to fill their youngsters’ book shelves, and know they can trade those in for another batch of inexpensive books at the next sale. Despite the attraction of online reading, physical, page-turning books are still the medium of choice for an overwhelming portion of readers.

Sunrise Rotary president Deb Parsley summed up the book sale success when she said, “We want to thank all our book donors, book buyers and our volunteers. Mesquite  loves this book sale, and we all love helping kids read.”