The North Clay Middle School eight-grade Lancers have been studying the causes, effects and events leading up to the Holocaust before reading the play "The Diary of Anne Frank."
"The students learned that during this period of time, students in universities and public schools participated in the mass burning of books that were seen as 'un-German,'" Language Arts Teacher Rochell Reberger said. "The Lancer students decided that this was an unacceptable activity."
The students are collecting gently used or new children's and young adult books, which will then be donated to the LEAAP (Linking Education to Adults, Adolescents and Preschoolers) Center.
"The books that were burned encouraged free thinking and the students wanted to be involved and make a difference," Reberger said.
With more than 250 books collected and $47 for the purchase of books, Reberger is very proud of the students.
"Every child should know how to read, because it is really fun," Desi Hartman said. She is the daughter of Tom and Sue Burk, Brazil.
"I'm really glad that we are doing this because as a kid I like to read a lot," she said.
Some of the students dug into their own collections of books from their childhood to donate.
Ariana McKain, 14, the daughter of Mike and Amy McKain, Brazil donated approximately 50 books.
"I just decided to bring in a lot of the books from my childhood," she said. "I hope that they can help little kids because they deserve a chance."
"The students were amazed that it was other students burning books, the adults they understood because of the politics at the time," Reberger added. "The idea that other students were doing something as horrible as that was upsetting to them."
Megan Westfall, 14, the daughter of Marilyn Westfall, Harmony, donated 12 books.
"They burned books and left children out of experiencing stories," she said. "This is another way to give children the chance to read."
The books donated range for all different age levels and genres, from "Jane Eyre," by Charlotte Bronte to books that explain shapes and colors.
"It is really great to see them getting involved with this," Reberger said. "Sometimes there are a lot of negative views about students at this age, but they wanted to get involved and they ran with the idea."
To make a monetary donation to the Center, contact the Clay County Community Foundation.
The last day for donations is Monday, however the students are hoping that the community will continue to donate books to the LEAAP Center.
For more information on the Center or items for donation call 446-2536.