MILTON — Students in the Milton Area School District received boxes of belated Christmas presents this month.

Books-A-Million at the Susquehanna Valley Mall donated about $6,000 worth of books to the schools.

Students in the Baugher Elementary second-grade class of teacher Tracy Heiss opened some of those boxes of books on Wednesday in library class with elementary library media specialist Karey Killian.

The high school and middle school libraries, as well as the three elementary school libraries received the books purchased with donations from Books-A-Million customers, who were asked during the Christmas shopping season if they wanted to donate a book or an activity for a child.

“They selected our district for their book drive,” Killian said. “We received over 200 new titles and some Lego kits for each library.”

The second-graders all found favorites among the three boxes of books there.

When Killian asked them, there were shouts of “Penn State book,” “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” and “the cat book.”

Asked their reading preferences, the students had a variety of answers.

Sienna Short, 7, said she likes “the Holy Bible, because I like to learn about God.”

Sienna said, “Sometimes for my homework, when I read for 20 minutes, I like to read different books each night.”

Kailyn Walker, 7, likes “Monster High.”

Ryan Neuhard, 7, said he liked “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”

For Karina Robles, 8, it’s cat books that she likes.

Killian said the donations would help the libraries at Baugher, Montandon and White Deer elementary schools transition from a space housing old books to one of books that students are eager to read.

“Students have been diligently working to create their dream library,” she said. “Several students select their books to take home, then find five or more books on the shelves that they think should be permanently deleted.”

She said that has helped clear out several hundred older books at each library.

Nick Mathias, manager at the mall’s Books-A-Million store, said Milton was chosen for this year’s book donation after store staff saw a newspaper article about Milton Area clearing out outdated books.

“Usually what we try to do, we to try give the school or library we’re working with a chance to select books they would like,” Mathias said. “We got a small list from Milton and we went from there.”

He said all Books-A-Million stores select a different school district, library, Toys for Tots or children’s hospital to donate to each year.

He said the Alabama-based book store chain also does a summer book drive. Other Pennsylvania store locations include Scranton, Harrisburg and Pennsdale.

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