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Homeschooler Donates $50,000 of Books to His Local Library

By PHS Staff
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #50, 2002.

Jason Orr won a boatload of books. What does he do with them next?

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Jason is honored by the Bedford, TX, City Council
Homeschoolers love the library. Now, Bedford Public Library of Bedford, TX, has reason to love homeschoolers back.

Back in May Jason Orr entered a national essay contest sponsored by Universal Studios and Houghton-Mifflin publishers using an entry form published with the movie Balto II. The theme of the paper was “What does it Mean to be a Hero” and could be no longer than 150 words.

Jason’s mom tells it this way, “Jason wrote and re-wrote about five times. A few days before the deadline, he mailed in the entry form. After several weeks of checking the mailbox, he asked when he would hear back. He didn’t forget about the contest. One day we received a call from California telling us he had won Grand Prize.”

What did he win?

  • $50,000 worth of books from Houghton-Mifflin publishers
  • A trip for four to Orlando or Hollywood including airfare, hotel, and theme park tickets
  • His essay printed in a local newspaper.

Jason chose a family friend and former resident of Bedford, Robert Sawyer, as the subject of his essay. Sawyer had gone to Mexico City 17 years ago after an earthquake there. He saw children sleeping outside and was moved to found an orphanage, Hogar de Amor y Protección al Niño. His orphanage now houses more than 100 children.

Jason has become a hero, himself! He was interviewed on a local television station. Later, when he visited the library because he was curious to see what $50,000 worth of books looked like, he was given a rousing welcome. That evening he was honored at a Bedford city council meeting.


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