Lions Club has big surprise for Independence School District as they celebrate 150th anniversary

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Wednesday marked a double celebration for the Independence School District.

Not only did the district celebrate its 150th anniversary, they also had a special surprise for the kindergarten class at Bryant Elementary.

The district had a goal to provide each kindergarten student with a book for the 150th anniversary, and the local Lions Club helped make that goal happen.

"Many, many studies show if you can get a child that is on grade level by the third grade, than more than likely they are going to be fine all their academic years," Superintendent Dale Herl said. "So it's really important for us to reach that at a really young age."

The club donated a book for every kindergarten student in the Independence School District.

"We feel that beginning to read is the beginning of the acquisition of knowledge and skills that are necessary for a lifetime," Lions Club member Jerry Dinsmore said.

One of the club's missions is "youth in the community," and this is how they're accomplishing it.

"It means a lot," Herl said. "Many, many families do not have the means to buy books or to have as many books as they would like, and this gives them something they can physically take home. It has an impact with them."