The University Scholars program at Stony Brook is holding a massive Book Drive throughout local school districts in Suffolk County, and the group is set to kick off an on-campus collection beginning Monday, March 23. The goal is to collect and then donate as many books as possible to poverty-stricken areas on Long Island and abroad, while simultaneously working with high school and middle school students to develop their leadership skills. The drive has collected more than 3,000 books already.
You can help by donating books of any genre, any reading level, and in any condition, from early readers to literary classics. Collection boxes will be placed in the Library, Stony Brook Union, and Student Activities Center; and are also available in the Scholars-designated residence halls in each Residential Quad. Any books that are unwanted or damaged will be sent to the charity Better World Books. If every student, faculty and staff member contributed just one book, there would be thousands of books to share with families in need.
With a quarter of a million students in Suffolk County alone, there are still areas where books are absent. Particularly where poverty levels are high, families cannot afford to purchase books for their children. The group is focusing its efforts on the Wyandanch School District, with a poverty level among the highest in Suffolk County at 18.3 percent. The books will be brought to this area, and families will be able to peruse the collection and take whatever books they want, free of charge.
Reading is an essential mode of communication, education and enjoyment that is positively correlated both with high school and college graduation rates. In providing books to underprivileged areas, the University Scholars students hope to increase graduation rates from high school and increase the chance that students will receive a college degree.
For additional information on the drive, and how to donate, please visit the Book Drive website. To learn more about the driving force behind this initiative, read about Stony Brook student Bryan Szeglin.