The one thing 10-year-old Jordan Piper loves more than reading is motivating other kids to read. The fifth-grader from Powder Springs, Georgia recently helped donate 500 books to his school, an act that led to the mayor naming a day after him.
Jordan donated the books to Kemp Elementary School through Better World Books, a global bookstore that funds literacy initiatives worldwide and regularly donates books to at-risk communities in the U.S. and to African schools.
"I came up with the idea of the book drive after watching a video from Better World Books who distribute books to kids in Africa," Jordan tells us. "Kids in our country have so much, and they could give to kids in other countries who have never learned to read and never owned a book."
Recognizing his good work in his school and community, Mayor Patricia Vaughn officially named April 30th "Jordan Piper Day" in the town of Powder Springs. On May 2, the day was commemorated with a celebration that included the book drive and the Mayor's Proclamation.
Jordan wasn't always as voracious a reader as he is now. "It all started when he joined the Caring Club program in the first grade," his mother Vivian Acevedo tells the Good News blog. "He actually didn't like to read."
Even though her son hadn't yet developed an interest in books, Acevedo, a single mother, still took Jordan to the library every week. It was there they saw a poster promoting a program in which kids read to a dog.
"We had lost our dog two weeks before that, so I thought that would be a good way to get over the grieving process and learn how to read," she explains. Jordan spent many days reading to Drew, a therapy dog from a free program called READing Paws, whose aim is to improve the literacy skills of children.
Reading soon became a fun activity for Jordan, and his reading skills skyrocketed. Now in the fifth grade, Jordan is the gifted program at his school and gets straight A's. He's a history buff who loves studying the sinking of the Titanic and World War II, and tells us his favorite book is the latest release in the "I Survived" series about a young boy struggling to survive the Nazi invasion in 1944.
"He's very smart, he loves reading, he loves history, and he's involved in a lot of activities at school," his mother tells us. She's not exaggerating: Jordan is a member of the chess club, book club, math club, chorus, and robotics, and plays basketball on the weekends. He's already got his future career picked out -- he wants to become a judge.
This might be the busiest 10-year-old ever, but he's never too busy to relax and open up a good book.