When I was in elementary school, I was part of a program whereby the students would receive two new books each week.

I think it was the Scholastic Reader Program, but I couldn't swear to it. Anyway, this was when I was in third grade. And it was so exciting to get those books each month. I'm not sure what was MORE exciting--getting the books or the anticipation.

But it always meant so much to me and it's great to know that kids still thirst for such opportunities. It's like that need to read is so great it evolves into a DESIRE to read which is wonderful.

Get our free mobile app

And that brings me to Whitesville's Mike Pate, who served as the town's postmaster for more than three decades, AND who also, one day, decided that it was time to come out of retirement.

He'd learned that there was a shortage of bus drivers and so he threw his hat in the ring and that is what he now does, for East View Elementary School. But Mike has taken his service to Daviess County Public Schools a step further.

He heard some kids talking about East View's Book Fair and how they wouldn't be able to afford to buy any books. Well, that didn't work for Mike, so he decided to do something about it.

"Mr. Mike," as he is known, donated $1000 so that these kids who couldn't afford them, could have the books. And, in fact, that amount was enough for TWO books for each of 160 East View students.

Daviess County Public Schools

An extraordinary and extraordinarily loving and GENEROUS gesture, to say the least.

The kids even signed a gigantic thank you card for Mr. Mike.

Daviess County Public Schools

When I talked to Mike, I asked him what his favorite books were when he was growing up and he said it was the Curious George series. As a matter of fact, he bought a set for his granddaughter.

During the course of our conversation, I learned that, like me, Mike attended Masonville Elementary School and remembers the Scholastic Reader program.

That love of reading has carried over to a wonderful opportunity for a group of kids who might not have otherwise HAD such an opportunity.

Mike says, "Seeing how excited they were to get those books made my day."

And by extending the hand of generosity to those students, he made THEIR day. And, honestly, he's probably made much more than their DAY.

In Pictures: What Education Looks Like Around the World During a Pandemic