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Books for Kids seeks support from school community

Everyone remembers their favorite childhood book, the one they asked their parents to read over and over again. Mercer Mayer, Beatrix Potter, Maurice Sendak and Dr. Seuss are some authors you probably remember. Maybe it was fantasy, sports, animals or princess tales, each child’s imagination is different and needs to be nurtured.

It’s hard to imagine that there are some children in Western New York that don’t have the same childhood memory of reading a special book with a family member because they don’t have age-appropriate books in their homes. The goal of Books for Kids is to put new books in the home of every child in our area that needs them. The News Books for Kids drive collects donations of new books and distributes them to needy children and also provides books to community agencies that serve an underprivileged population.

Since the start of Books for Kids in 1995, more than 2.3 million books have been distributed to needy children.

Last year, 5,188 books were collected from the school division of the book drive. Lockport High School was the largest school donor followed by Nardin Academy. We thank them and the many other area schools that contributed and allowed the school coalition to be such a huge success. Our goal is to collect at least one more than last year – 5,189 new books for children.

As coordinator of The News Books for Kids school coalition, my job is to reach out to as many schools as possible to have them rally around the mission of collecting books and monetary donations. If you are in middle school or high school and would like to be a part of the school division, please contact me as soon as possible. Being a school coordinator involves collecting books at your school and, if desired, raising money to donate to Books for Kids.

It is as simple as placing a collection bin in your school and hanging up posters to advertise the book drive. You will receive service hours for your volunteer time and the satisfaction of participating in a community-wide project. Leaders are needed from every school. The drive runs until March 31.

Be a leader, help children in our community and make a difference. Be part of the team and help children in our own neighborhoods create memories that will last a lifetime. If you want to help, contact me at

Alexandra Jehle is a sophomore at Sacred Heart Academy.