Embrace Girls Foundation helps give Arcola Lake Elementary students super first day back at school

Big Book Drive donations passed out to students

MIAMI – It was a super first day back at school Monday at Arcola Lake Elementary School in Miami.

"We did it in superhero style," Principal Cynthia Hannah said. "Fifteen of our teachers greeted our students and our parents with Captain America, Wonder Woman and Superman."

High-fives and words of encouragement from superheroes and teachers donning capes were a reward for accomplishing the impossible together -- improving the school grade from an F to a C.   

"We are here to be all that they need. We are here to be their power superheroes," Miami-Dade County Public Schools Vice Chair Dorothy Bendooss-Mingingall said.

Behind the fun welcome was the Embrace Girls Foundation. 

"We do our homework here, we play, we watch movies and we do activities and read books," third-grader Denaeja Proctor said.

Proctor and other students received free books Monday thanks to Local 10 News viewers who donated to the station's Big Book Drive.

"Reading is fundamental and many of our students are in need of additional resources at home, so this will help them build their libraries at home and make them stronger readers," Hannah said.

The group helped hand a book out to each student returning to school Monday.

"The parents were in line trying to get books, but we were giving them away to the students so they had to run back to the cafeteria and get their students and come back and get a book, but you really made our first day phenomenal, so Channel 10 is a superhero as well," Hannah said.

Local 10 News viewers helped raise about 19,000 books so far for children in need.

Donations are being accepted through Aug. 31.

Books may be dropped off at any library in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, as well as at participating Walgreens and Barnes & Noble stores.

Click here for more information about where you can donate new books.