ROBERTS, Idaho - Roberts Elementary School celebrated the 95th birthday of its librarian, Lavern Tomchak, Monday afternoon.
Tomchak has been the school's librarian for 20 years, but she's been working with children far longer. In fact, many of the students' grandparents rode the school bus she used to drive.
Tomchak was born Nov. 11, 1918, the day World War 1 ended.
"I read everything I could get my hands on when I was going to school," said Tomchak.
With those hands, Tomchak could point you to some books on history, but she lived it and would rather just tell you about it.
"I remember the Depression very well," said Tomchak.
Teacher Afton Nukaya has known Tomchak for 35 years. They've worked together since Tomchak started, so Nukaya knows the impact she has had on Roberts' children.
"When she's not here, they want to know where she's at," said Nukaya. "You know, 'Is Mrs. Tomchak OK? When's she coming back?'"
The children's love for Tomchak was more evident than ever Monday afternoon. The whole school surprised her with a birthday cake and a celebration. Each child gave Tomchak, an avid gardener, a paper flower with a message.
She left the students with a message too.
"I want you all to keep on reading," said Tomchak. "Just keep on reading."