Students at Peterson Elementary thank Senator Murkowski for book donations from Washington. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski)

Kodiak elementary students benefited from a National Book Week using substantial donations from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Murkowski this week donated her 9,500th book to Alaskan schools, libraries, tribes and nonprofit agencies that request materials.

Peterson Elementary School children made a large thank you card for the senator and sent her a photo of them displaying it with many of the books they received.

“So much that I have accomplished in my life can be traced back to the love of learning that was instilled in me in Wrangell through my first grade teacher encouraging me to pick up a book and find out about the world,” said Murkowski. “As a senator, I read hundreds of pages of documents a week in order to best serve Alaska; as a mom, I read ‘Harry Potter’ aloud to my sons and encouraged them to pick up a book whenever they got the chance. I’m proud to be able to promote this love of the written word across our state.”

During her time in the senate, Murkowski has been responsible for over 9,500 books distributed throughout the state. One of the most memorable donations was to the Alaska National Guard Operation Santa Claus, which included books among the gifts to children in Atamutluak, Mekoryuk, Northway and Venetie. Another was a large donation to the library in Togiak, which had lost many books to an act of vandalism.

“Thomas Jefferson once said ‘I cannot live without reading,’” said Murkowski. “I want every Alaskan possible to share that joy.”

The donations were made possible through a partnership with the Library of Congress.

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