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READING FOR ALL Claire Pedrick, a rising sophomore at St. John’s School, hosted a neighborhood book drive for Books Between Kids and the Albury Head Start program.
Last year, I came upon an opportunity to do volunteer work at Books Between Kids (BBK). I arrived for my shift at the warehouse one Saturday morning and, after sorting books for two hours, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I loved knowing my efforts of sorting books would help provide books to children who were not fortunate enough to have their own.
Books Between Kids was started in 2012 to give Houston’s at-risk children books to build their own home libraries. The organization accepts gently used children’s books for students from pre-K through fifth grade. Volunteers sort the books to be delivered to students at designated schools.
I also had the opportunity to work with students at Albury Head Start program this fall. My ninth-grade advisory class was matched with Albury as part of our community service project. We read books to the children, planted pumpkin seeds together and enjoyed a lunch together.
I hosted a neighborhood book drive in hopes of bringing in books for BBK and Albury Head Start. I must admit I was hesitant placing bags on neighbors’ doorsteps that I had never met. I delivered bags to over 50 homes with a letter explaining that I was collecting books for Books Between Kids and the Albury Head Start program. I hoped that at least some of my neighbors would donate books. The bags slowly started to appear on my doorstep, many filled to the top with books. I was able to collect enough books for the students at Albury and still had plenty to donate to BBK.
I reached out to the director at Albury and set up a time to deliver the books. I wanted it to be more like a celebration, so I brought cupcakes along with the 77 individually wrapped books. I know one book may not make that much of a difference, but my hope is that each year I will be able to add another book to each of the students’ home libraries. As their libraries grow, I hope their love of reading will also grow.
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