Summer is almost here, and you know what that means. Summer Reading! YAY!!!! All that free, uninterrupted time to just dive into books. But I am about to tell you a very sad fact. There are many kids who don't have ANY books to read ever. They don't have any books at home, and they don't have any books at school, and they don't have a public library where they can borrow books.
As I write this, I am looking at a pile of delicious books on my desk at work. There are books in every room of my home, and I live 1 block away from the public library. I can't imagine a world where I couldn't just reach out and grab a book, but lots of kids live a book-starved life. That makes me sad.
But there is a way we can help them. We can send them our books! There are several organizations that collect books and send them to schools and libraries all over the world where the kids have no books. Here are a few ways that you can get involved, but make sure you check with your parents first before you do any of these.
Operation Cleanup: Go through your own overflowing bookshelves, and pull out the books that you will probably never read again. Check to make sure they are in good condition. Nobody wants moldy, beat up, colored-in books. Then box them up and send them to one of the organizations below.
Books for Birthdays: For your next birthday party, request that all your guests give you a book. Then when you are done reading them all, box them up and send them to one of the organizations below.
Host a Book Drive: Put a box with a big sign by the Front Office at school (or church, or public library, etc.), and ask people to donate their gently used books. When the box is full, send it to one of the organizations below.
Mail the books (Media Mail or Book Rate is cheapest) to the organization that is nearest to where you live:
Bridge of Books NJ
P.O. Box 39
Rumson, NJ 07760
Reader to Reader MA
38 Woodside Avenue
Amherst, MA 01002
2957 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
International Book Project KY
1440 Delaware Avenue
Lexington, KY 40505
These are only a few of the organizations out there. There may be others that are closer to you. Ask your parents to do some investigating for you.
Now while you're luxuriating in all that free reading time this summer, you can feel good knowing that other kids might have books too — all because of you!