COVENTRY TWP. Cody Basinger wants to help improve the experience students have when they are looking for books in the library at Coventry Elementary School.
Basinger, a third grader, noticed students weren’t finding age-appropriate books and many of the biographies were of people students didn’t know. He also said the library didn't have many chapter books available.
Basinger, who has always collected cans, came up with the Cans 4 Comets idea as he saw the need for books.
The premise is that cans are collected at the elementary school throughout the day. On top of that, Basinger and his family are at the elementary school entrance from 3:30 to 5 p.m. the second Sunday of every month to collect cans from the community. Cans have also been collected a variety of events throughout the district.
ACE Hardware on Manchester Road has also been collecting cans.
Basinger was awarded the Disney Be Inspired Grant in the amount of $500, which is being put towards purchasing books, getting the word out about the project and purchasing more blue cans for collecting cans.
He said he started the project in December with his family and that it is going well as more than 130 books have already been purchased.
Recently collected cans will be turned into scrap on Earth Day (April 22), where the price for aluminum will jump from the normal 40 cents per-pound to 80 cents per-pound. The money collected from the cans will then be used to purchase additional books.
Basinger, who enjoys reading, said he has learned a lot from the project.
"It is important to read age appropriate books," Basinger said.
Cody’s mom, Tammie, said the goal is to try to get more kids to read instead of being on their electronic devices.
"We hope to get more students involved at the middle school," Tammie Basinger said. "As long as Coventry stays interested, we will keep collecting cans."
Basinger said the family will bring a recycling bin to various community events. Also, if someone wants to collect cans on their own, the family will accept them.
More information about the project, including drop-off information, can be found on the Cans4Comets Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Cans4Comets.