Megan Underwood received a special thanks Tuesday at the noon meeting of the Maryville Kiwanis Club. The club is preparing to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their involvement in Imagination Library, which the group sponsors in Blount County. Megan was honored for her contributions to the Library, which provides a free book each month to children from birth to age 5.
Megan, age 7, first gave about $80 to the club following her fourth birthday party. For the next three years, Megan has returned to donate $100 in birthday money to the Kiwanis Imagination Library project.
During a presentation, led by club member Herb Meyer during the group’s weekly lunch meeting at the Green Meadow Country Club, the Carpenters Elementary School student was also honored for excelling at this past spring’s Academic Olympics.
Megan’s recognition kicked off a week of celebration that will culminate on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 11 a.m. at the Blount County Public Library. On Saturday, the Kiwanis Club plans to honor other Academic Olympic winners who were former recipients of Imagination Library books during the 5th birthday celebration.
“A special reason Megan is here today is because she is an award winner,” said Meyer. “There was an Academic Olympics in the spring, and she was on the list of first grade winners. Five of the six Language Arts winners were Imagination Library recipients.”
Megan and her mother, Jessica Underwood, shared how the idea came about for donating birthday money to Imagination Library. When her mom pitched the idea of accepting Imagination Library donations in lieu of gifts for her birthday, Megan liked the idea, said her mother. “I remember her saying that she liked helping kids get books,” her mom said.
The second grade student’s goal of helping others hasn’t changed. “I still like helping other people,” she said.