Centre community promotes literacy with second annual book drive
One year ago, Centre College students embarked on a campaign to promote literacy in the local community. In hopes of providing stocked bookshelves to 15 Habitat for Humanity homeowners, students, faculty and staff contributed books from a wide variety of genres to the first annual Habitat for Humanity and Centre Action Reaches Everyone (C.A.R.E.) Book Drive. At the end of the drive, the each of the 15 families was given a bookshelf filled with everything from children’s stories to prize-winning novels to works of non-fiction (such as cookbooks and travel literature).
This year, the book drive is back, and the C.A.R.E. student leaders have even higher hopes for its outcome.
In addition to providing at least 12 Habitat homeowners with new, stocked bookshelves, this year the Centre community will also be offering more books to last year’s recipients, helping them build up their own collections.
This time around, a goal is also to collect more literature for adults than children.
“Our surveys, which were mailed to Habitat homeowners in Boyle County and Mercer County, were originally geared mainly towards the children of these Habitat families,” says Olivia Orrender ’13, one of the C.A.R.E. members organizing the 2011 drive. “Of course, one of the main reasons this project began last year was to promote childhood literacy, but it’s great that we now can see that the need for literature extends to members in our community of all ages.”
Because Centre students are not only collecting books on campus but also working with local restaurants, offices and shops to encourage participation, this year’s drive is a true community effort.
“One aspect of the project I most appreciate is that it’s not only a campus-wide endeavor but an opportunity that extends outside of the Centre community,” Orrender says. “Many restaurant and shop owners in Danville were willing to put up flyers for this book drive, and The Hub Coffeehouse allowed us to place a book donation bin there for the month. And, as always, we appreciate the support from the Board Members of Habitat’s Boyle Co. Affiliate.”
C.A.R.E. executive member Kate Wintuska ’13 agrees that the community aspect of the project makes it special.
“As a whole, society tends to take forgotten the ability and passion for reading, and importance of reading in daily life seems to be overlooked. The Habitat and C.A.R.E. Book Drive provides community members the opportunity to share their blessings and abilities with others in the Boyle and Mercer County area. Donating books and building shelves act as modes of service for the Centre and Danville communities. Especially at Centre College, there is an expectation that students, faculty and staff have a passion for learning that is intertwined with a love for immersing oneself in literature. This service project affords the Centre and Danville communities to pay this enthusiasm forward.”
On Centre’s campus, collection bins can be found in the Campus Center and the library. Donations will be accepted through Jan. 25.
On Jan. 22, groups of students, faculty and staff will join forces to assemble the new bookshelves. Each group is asked to send three or four participants to construct the shelves and to contribute $20 to help fund the project. More than 50 members of the Centre community have already volunteered to help build the shelves, and more are volunteering daily.
Although there are many goals to reach in this year’s drive, the C.A.R.E. student leaders are already showing the dedication and passion for service that will make the drive a success. And, even though the 2011 drive has been underway for less than two weeks, the students are already planning future literacy campaigns.
“Our vision is that this project will not only continue but that soon all nearby Habitat families who would like a stocked bookshelf will have one,” Orrender says. “And we hope that in the years to come, we’ll continue to be able to restock each family’s shelf. It would be fantastic if we could even place a stocked shelf into each new Habitat home as soon as it is built so that a family will already have one as they move in.”