FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — Jack Pawloski’s Eagle Scout project is providing close to 1,000 books for use at the Pee Dee Transitional Shelter.
Pawloski, helpers from Boy Scout Troop 477 at First Presbyterian Church and friends moved the books into the shelter earlier this year. They also provided book cases for the books.
“My mom gave me the idea for my Eagle Scout project,” Pawloski, 14, said. “I thought it was a good idea and went with it.”
Pawloski’s mother, Tammy, is a professor of early childhood education at Francis Marion University. She also heads up the Center of Excellence at FMU.
“I planned to do a service project to benefit the Pee Dee Transitional Shelter, a long-term transitional housing program for homeless individuals,” Pawloski said.
“There were 40 homeless individuals living at the shelter when I began my project in December. Of the 40, 20 were aged 1 to 16. They had very little reading material.”
Pawloski decided to establish a library in the shelter for the children living there. He wrote letters to two of the schools he has previously attended, Briggs Elementary School and Williams Middle School.
“I asked for permission to have a book drive at the schools,” Pawloski said. “I then printed out flyers to post on each teacher’s door to remind students. I then put two large plastic bins in all of the schools.
“More than 1,000 books were donated to place on the shelves suitable for children ages 1-16. I went by the schools every so often to clear out the bins.”
Pawloski also organized a fundraiser car wash that was held in the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church. With the help of 15 other Scouts, $478.70 was raised. The money was used to purchase and refurbish three slightly used bookshelves.
The books have been sorted into age-appropriate categories.
“This means so much to all of us at the Transitional Shelter,” said the director, the Rev. Mack Hines. “We are all so excited about our new library. I’m going to get in there myself and read some of these books.”
Hines lauded Pawloski for his hard work and determination. He said Pawloski put in 123 hours on the project and had the planning down to an exact science.
“Jack is destined for success,” Hines said. “He had strong family support in this endeavor.”
“I’m so happy to think that the shelter will have all these books,” Pawloski’s father, Don, said while watching the troops move the books in. “The books represent a little bit of everything.”
But it’s not all scouting for Pawloski, a rising freshman in the International Baccalaureate program at Wilson High School.
He plays baseball — catcher and first base — and basketball. And when he has the time, he likes to bait a hook and do a little fishing.
Pawloski plans to be an architect, “if I can’t be a baseball player.”
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