High School Students Organize Elementary School Book Drive

December 8, 2017


Photo Credit: Mei Lamison/Achona Online

This Fall, Bess the Book Bus visited Maine and Connecticut to distribute books.

On Nov. 6, 2017, through Nov. 17, 2017, high school students Mei Lamison (‘20) and Claire Rogan (‘20) organized a book drive that was held throughout the elementary school. The book drive benefited Bess the Book Bus, which is a nonprofit organization based in Tampa. The organization is run by Jennifer Frances.

Lamison said, “Nonprofit organizations such as the one we are working with really help to improve our education standards across the country. I am so honored and proud to be a part of this lovely cause.”

A gigantic thank you to Bess' newest volunteers Mei and Claire from Academy of the Holy Names – Tampa who collected 827 beautiful books for us.

Posted by Bess the Book Bus on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Through Bess the Book Bus, Frances, who used to be a teacher, travels around the country to schools found within poorer neighborhoods. At these schools, Frances distributes books to underprivileged children, who do not have the resources to obtain educational literary materials.

Lamison said, “Reading has always been something that I have loved to do. When I discovered that kids within our community did not have the learning resources that I had at their age, it upset me greatly. It is upsetting that some students do not have the same learning foundation as others.”

Photo Credit: Mei Lamison/Achona Online
The majority of the books Lamison and Rogan collected were picture books.

The students working on the project began to organize the book drive in September. Lamison and Rogan discussed their plans for the drive with Elementary School Principal Bridget Fishman. The students placed collection boxes in every elementary school classroom, and they collected the books at the end of each week. The winning homeroom within each grade received a free dress day pass.

Rogan said, “I decided to run the book drive with Mei because I am very passionate about children’s education, and I love to read. It was great to see wholehearted participation in the elementary school, especially from such little kids. There was one girl who brought in 73 books.”

At the end of the book drive, 827 books had been collected. A wide range of books were received for students of all reading levels. The books ranged anywhere from the K to 12 reading level. Before the books were donated, Lamison and Rogan sorted the books and made sure they were in decent condition.

Rogan said, “For the high school book drive, I hope to have more high-school oriented books donated. A lot of the books donated in the elementary school were aimed towards younger students.”

Photo Credit: Mei Lamison/Achona Online
Out of the 827 books collected, only two books were not in good enough condition to donate.

Lamison and Rogan are currently organizing another book drive in the Spring for Bess the Book Bus. However, this time, the books will be collected throughout the high school. For this book drive, Lamison and Rogan hope to maximize participation through a competition. Students will collaborate with their homerooms in order to try to bring in the most books in order to win a prize. 

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