DENVER — Walk into Miss Nocona Swindell's classroom at Swansea Elementary, and you're bound to learn something.
While the walls of the 4th-grade teacher's room may be filled with familiar school subjects, Wednesday's biggest lesson came from Swindell's heart.
"They're so sweet. They're here to learn every single day," Swindell said when asked about her students. "They're safe they're respectful, they're responsible."
Last week, she took them to preview the Scholastic Book Fair, a semi-annual event Swindell cherished when she was a child.
"I remember dragging my toes around not wanting to go back to class because the book fair is such a happy place and such a fun experience," she said.
"[But] I could see on their faces that they were disappointed thinking like, 'I don't know if I'm going to remember to ask my parents for money, I don't know if my parents are going to have that to send with me.'"
Swindell decided she would try and help. She started a GoFundMe to raise a little money in a few days.
"I started it Friday night around 7 p.m., and when I woke up the next morning, I had already surpassed the goal of $4"0," she said.
In total, Swindell raised more than $700 for the children. That allowed each kid in her class to get a $20 coupon to purchase the books they'd like.
"I felt very surprised and very happy because I got to get the books that I wanted," 9-year-old Melanie said. "Instead of playing with your toys or spending money, you can read a book."
Ms. Swindell hopes that's a mindset that spreads. Swindell wants her students to open a new chapter in their lives with each turn of a page.
A chapter where they learn, like the characters they read about, they too can accomplish anything.
"They're worthy, they deserve it," she said.
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