APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Wednesday morning, students at Badger Elementary School lined up to pick out a book to take home over Thanksgiving break.

“I picked out Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray,” 3rd Grader Vincent Zinser told Local 5 as he looked over his choice.

Principal Anne Marie Werley-Gonzalez was happy to oversee the event in the school’s Library Media Center. “Having access to books at home is really crucial for students and their growth as readers,” she said.

Vincent and his classmates were gifted the books by the UPS Store. Between the Neenah and Appleton locations of the store, over $7,000 was raised to purchase more than 3,000 books for area students.

“So we’re here today, one of our very first stops to make sure that every child gets a book,” UPS Store employee Christie Powers told Local 5, “and then we’re going to go to different schools throughout the Fox Valley to just continue on with the gift-giving.”

Werley-Gonzalez says she is relieved that her students will have fresh reading material for the long weekend. “Knowing that our kids get to take home something really special for the long weekend to read is just really wonderful,” she explained.

Izaak Downs, another 3rd grader plans to dig into his choice, the first book in the Harry Potter series, during his days off. “I have to read 80 minutes this weekend,” he said.

The folks at the UPS Store hope those 80 minutes turn into many, many more.

“We’re hoping that if we give them a book today, they have the long holiday to really read it and get excited about it,” Powers explained, “and maybe get more interested in getting more books.”

Vincent is already sold on his choice. “Well this is actually my very first Bad Kitty book I’m going to have that I own,” he said. “What I think I should try to do is start a collection of it.”