Every student at Soddy Elementary School got a brand new, free book from the library Friday, thanks to the family of a longtime principal.

The family of the late Thomas J. Bond Sr. established a foundation in his name, to help students at Soddy.  Mr. Bond was principal of the school for 16 years, starting in the 1930s.  The library was recently named in his honor, and on Friday students were given the opportunity to take home the book of their choice, to keep forever. It's a gesture the kids won't soon forget, because they understand the importance of reading.

After the students got their books, they each wrote a thank you letter to the Bond family, expressing appreciation for their kindness and generosity.  Principal Kim Roden said the school's staff can't say enough about the Soddy community's longstanding support of Soddy Elementary.