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Roseburg middle schooler spearheads effort to give e-readers to elementary students

13-year-old JoLane Middle School student Marin Gray raised funds to give away Kindle e-readers to Eastwood Elementary students, Dec. 6, 2017. (KPIC image)

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Thanks to the work of a Roseburg middle schooler, kids in Roseburg are getting more access to books.

13-year-old JoLane Middle School student Marin Gray was upset when the Douglas County Library shut down last spring, so she decided to do something about it.

“It's really important to develop an early love of reading,” Gray said. “I wanted to provide them a way to be able to do that, so I started a fundraiser to get those Kindles."

A Kindle is a tablet device manufactured by Amazon that can hold hundreds of electronic books.

Marin joined forces with Mercy Foundation and Amazon to give 55 e-readers to kids at Eastwood Elementary.

"The alignment was perfect, and when the library closed down in downtown Roseburg, it just became apparent that her passion was to help kids continue their reading skills, especially elementary kids," said Mercy Foundation executive director Lisa Platt.

Marin also joined the organization's Learning Child Committee.

She raised almost $3,000on her own for her Kindle project.

"She's been a great force being on the committee and she's having fun with us, so she keeps us in check, too," Platt said.

Marin says she's grateful for the foundation's help: "One person can accomplish only so much, but when you have networking skills and you're able to have someone else help you with that, you can get the word out much better and you can impact the world around you."

As for what's next for Marin, she hopes to continue giving kids in the area access to books to further their love for reading.

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