MOORHEAD — The Moorhead Rotary Club could have put up a statue, park bench or plaque to mark its centennial, instead, they are buying hundreds of books for Moorhead kids as a way to invest in their future.

At S.G. Reinertsen Elementary Wednesday, Nov. 10, special guests Dr. Jerry Rogers and Ryan Hanson, of the service club, read a book for the school's fourth graders. But the book was unlike any other in the school's library.

"We wanted to help all the kids in Moorhead learn to read and to learn about other people in the world as well," Rogers said to the students.

As part of its centennial year, the club raised money for a project to help local students increase their reading skills.

The donated books tell stories from other parts of the world, and will soon be on library shelves. One reason the books were chosen was to reflect the population of Moorhead schools, where 41 different languages are now spoken in family homes.

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"We are building more friendships and expanding their knowledge," Hanson said.

The rotary club has raised $10,000, and hundreds of books are headed to every elementary school in Moorhead, including Horizon Middle School, West Campus, fifth and sixth graders. Moorhead Rotary, for several years, has also given dictionaries to all third graders in Moorhead schools.

"It makes you feel pretty good, I think," Rogers said.

For the kids, these books featuring life around the globe is a way to get connected to their neighbors.

"It is pretty cool, because you get to learn about where other people are from and stuff," said student Abby Knutson.

"I think it is amazing because it allows us to celebrate our differences, and I think it's really cool that they're doing that," said student Gracie Currier.