Eastern Star donates 340 books to Sunnyslope kids

Any teacher will tell you reading is a gift. And while the ability itself can’t be packaged and given, books can be.

That’s what brought Port Orchard’s Chapter of the Eastern Star to Sunnyslope Elementary School on Friday, with boxes full of donated books for the school.

Rose Gross holds the title Worthy Matron in the local branch of the Eastern Star. The title holder leads the group for his or her term, and also takes the lead on a philanthropic project benefiting a local group of some kind.

“Eastern Star is an organization that does community service as well as charity work throughout the entire world,” Gross said.

Gross, who volunteers at Sunnyslope Elementary, wanted to do something for students from kindergarten to sixth grade.

For the last year, the group has been collecting the books, and brought all 340 to the school Friday morning.

The students are big readers, Principal Bob Leslie said at the assembly, as evidenced by a just-completed reading campaign. The Masonic Lodge donated two bicycles, and students who read for the last two months entered to win those bicycles.

Leslie said the books will go into individual classroom libraries and the schools general library.

“It’s just a great donation,” he said, “a gift that goes on giving for a long time.”

The Eastern Star is a branch of the Masonic Lodge and does philanthropic work locally and abroad. Gross said the Port Orchard branch has been in the community 111 years.

Visit for more information on the Masonic Lodge and the Port Orchard Branch of the Eastern Star.

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