Thursday , 18 September 2014
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Clean out your home bookshelves and donate your books

If your house is like mine, there are books everywhere – or there used to be.
We’re at Palmetto High School now, but when my brother and I were little and had 30 minutes of reading homework every night, my parents bought tons of books for us from Scholastic every month. Now we have required reading for English. And both my parents read a lot. So the books were just stacked up around the house.

I found out we’re not alone. So many families in Pinecrest have books sitting around that they don’t want anymore, especially children’s books. As a freshman, I helped collect books for homeless children and got 400 just by asking a few friends’ parents. I figured out then that recycling books from our community to less fortunate families just a few miles away would be a win-win for everyone involved – plus it’s “green” to recycle.

Last fall, I started my own service project to collect and re-home gently used books. Thanks to Pinecrest, Palmetto and Howard Drive elementary and the Village of Pinecrest, I collected nearly 3,000 books. Dr. Larry Feldman, our school board representative, suggested giving them to the children at South Dade Migrant camps, and we did. These books were given directly to the children to take home, since many of them did not have books of their own.

All sorts of research exists that shows having books in the home is a big influence on academic success. The camps serve Pre-K to 12 grade children.

Right now, I’m collecting books so that the after-school programs run by Miami-Dade at the three migrant camps can have small onsite libraries for the teachers and children to use. I figured the end of the school year is a great time to look at whatever school-related items your family no longer needs.

There is a book collection bin always available for “Mac’s Library” (named for my grandfather, a teacher who never went anywhere without a book) at the Pinecrest Community Center. In addition, Pinecrest, Palmetto and Howard Drive Elementary will collect books in their media centers through the end of this school year.

So turn the page. Clean out your bookshelves and backpacks of books you no longer need, and Mac’s Library will make sure they are recycled to a place where they will do a lot of good. Contact me at jmcmaster96@ gmail.com if you have questions.

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