I was just on Facebook and saw the saddest thing, but it’s something we can make better today.
That’s a photo of the empty library at a K-8 school here in Pittsburgh.
My kids are lucky; they have access to tons of books in their school’s library and in many individual classrooms. They also have Nooks at home and the resources to download as many books as they want.
The above photo, however, was taken at a library at a school just seven miles from my home. The librarian says there are 40 semi-usable books in their school.
I’ve always taken for granted the fact that my kids had access to reading materials. Their rooms have been overflowing with books since before they were born, and yet they were both ecstatic to find even more books available to them at their school library. Devin brings home an average of five new books every single week. I cannot even fathom walking into a school library and seeing empty shelves.
Everything about this is wrong and unfair.
Fortunately, we can help.
If you have fiction books you and your kids would be willing to donate to this school, you can box them up and mail them to:
1612 Manhattan Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
Include a note that says these books are for the library.
You can also go to Amazon right now and select a few items from the librarian’s wishlist.
I know this isn’t a local blog and so chances are this isn’t your city. This isn’t your local school. These aren’t your kids.
But these kids are going to grow up to be your fellow citizens.
They can grow up to be the kind of people who know there is good in the world and who give back.
Maybe it will help them to know some people who didn’t have to gave to them first.
Update: So the Internet is a pretty amazing place. The teacher’s Wish list got completely filled, and now it looks like she is adding new titles. If you go there and it is empty, feel free to order any FICTION for kids aged 7-14, and just have them shipped to the school. We were able to do this via Amazon with no problems.
A Pittsburgh education blog that originally shared this story says books started showing up yesterday. Sheila, the librarian said:
“When I told the Principal she just about cried. Wait ‘til the kids see! Wait ‘til the loving, overworked teachers see! Wait ‘til the overworked, exhausted, dedicated parents see these books coming home in their children’s hands! You are showing Manchester’s children that THEY MATTER.”
Let’s keep going and make sure these kids never forget that THEY MATTER!
(Also, there are schools around the country talking about doing book drives for these kids, but it occurs to me that books are HEAVY and getting them to Pittsburgh might be a challenge. If anyone knows how these schools/organizations could get discounted shipping for this effort, please let me know!)