Classmates of Jessie Arbogast are doing something special to honor their injured friend.
The young shark bite victim from Ocean Springs remains in serious condition at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Pensacola. And part of his therapy involves Mom and Dad reading books to him.
Unfortunately, the hospital where Jessie is recovering has no children's library. But students at Magnolia Park Elementary are hoping to change that.
Children at Magnolia Park know all about the joys of reading books. Students are collecting new books they'll be sending to the hospital in Pensacola.
On the first day of school, the stack of "Jessie's Books" was already impressive.
Third grader, Maggie Eaves, says the library is a good idea.
"Well, we're donating them to the hospital. Not just for Jessie, but for all the children that might come in the future and that are there."
Delanie Howell says students wanted to do something to help their fallen friend.
"I want to say that I hope he feels better and that he enjoys the books."
School Librarian Patricia King helped launch the book-collecting project. She and other teachers visited the Arbogast family in Pensacola and found the hospital needed new children's books.
Helping build a hospital library seemed the perfect project for students anxious to help their friend.
"They all want to do something. And this all goes along with character counts. It teaches them how to care about the sick and how to help people in general. So we want to give that to our students as well," King said.
Those students say Jessie will appreciate the new books.
First grader, Andrew Stokley, wants Jessie to get well soon.
"I hope he feels better."
Jessie's classmates want their friend to know that he is on their hearts and minds. In a city that's adorned with yellow ribbons, perhaps the biggest ribbon of all is on the front lawn at Magnolia Park Elementary school, where Jessie's fellow students anxiously await his return.