CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A central Virginia family is spreading love through the power of reading. After an Ettrick Elementary School educator died of breast cancer, her loved ones launched a “Library of Love” donation tribute to help fill classroom bookshelves.
Kandi Fisher’s family told 8News she was always passionate about education and helping others. After she died, they wanted to find a way to continue her legacy — sculpting minds and touching lives — behind the Ettrick Elementary School walls and beyond.
Fisher’s husband, Ryan, stood proudly alongside sons Walker and Wyatt Fisher and Kandi’s oldest sister Ka-Le Congdon. The close-knit family wore shirts made in honor of the beloved mother.
Fisher lost her life in 2019, but Congdon said the reading enthusiast wasn’t done fulfilling her goals.
“She wanted to make sure that every single child had the opportunity to read — and read really good books,” Congdon said.
Loved ones told 8News that Fisher was known to go out of her way to bring smiles to everyone she met.
“I take a lot of pride in telling everybody about my mom,” said Walker, her youngest son. “[She was] the most amazing person I ever had the pleasure of meeting.”
With those smiles she spread across town, Fisher also wanted to make a tangible impact — a concrete way to improve the lives of other teachers and students.
“She was so full of love and and would do anything for anybody to benefit them,” Fisher’s husband, Ryan, said.
The family pondered ways to continue her legacy while making a difference, just as she would have wanted. They thought about how many new teachers are tasked with filling their own classrooms with decorations, supplies and reading materials all by themselves.
That’s where Kandi Fisher’s “Library of Love” was conceptualized. This tribute, created in her honor, aims to pour love into the classrooms of the next generation of educators in the form of books.
It’s Latasha Picot’s first year teaching at Ettrick Elementary School. She never met Fisher, but now carries a piece of her magic in her classroom. The new teacher shared how this program has significantly impacted her and her ability to fulfill her passion of teaching and shaping young minds. She remarked on how the warmth of Fisher’s family and spirit helped her cultivate the classroom she always dreamed of.
“I actually feel like I have met her,” Picot explained. “Having those books in my room just strengthens that connection.”
The creation of this program marked the first page of a new chapter. Each year, Fisher’s family will donate around $500 to new teachers, so their students can have their own libraries of love.
“This is a great way to carry on Kandi’s memory and legacy,” Congdon said. “She always, always put everyone before herself.”