COVINGTON -- Students at Fairview Theme School soon will have a lot more reading material.
The school recently took second place in SunnyD's Book Spree nationwide contest, guaranteeing that each classroom will receive 20 books -- that's 620 books -- plus an additional 1,250 books for the school as a whole.
"In a classroom, there is always a need to update, replace and add additional books," Fairview teacher Lisa Joyce said. "We knew that this was something that was so easy that we just had to do it."
Students, teachers and family members collected SunnyD labels on index cards to submit them to the contest from the beginning of August through the end of November.
"We had aunts, moms, dads, grandparents, all working to help us earn the books," Joyce said.
Teachers shared the information about the contest through parent meetings, e-mails to parents, Facebook pages, labels in the agenda and notes in student folders. Once a classroom collected 20 labels, its students were awarded a breakfast party -- with SunnyD to drink, of course. Parents also were encouraged to bring SunnyD to drink for any type of classroom celebration.
In the end, the school submitted 27,120 labels to the contest.
"We know that winning the books goes beyond the actual tangible books but to the depth of how our parents, extended families, teachers, staff and students all came together to help our school receive books for our students to continue to grow and learn," Joyce said.
She said even if the books averaged $5 each, the prize would be about $9,000 worth of books.
The school is expected to receive the books in mid-February.
Joyce hopes Fairview's winning will inspire more Newton County schools to participate in this contest and similar ones next year.
"We would like to highly encourage other parents, teachers and schools to capitalize on this opportunity next year," Joyce said. "Imagine that if all the other schools in the county participated next year. Then this story would be on not just Fairview, but Newton County Schools at large, receiving truckloads of books."
Two other Georgia schools also won prizes -- The Main Street Academy in College Park took fourth place, and Vickery Creek Elementary School in Cumming placed eighth.