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Drive Has New Goal of 6,000 Books for Local Underserved Kids

April 6, 2014 – A literacy initiative founded by a Georgetown student that provides books to underserved children in Washington, D.C., is in its third year, this time with a goal of collecting 6,000 books.

The Bring on the Books drive, created by Sohayle Sizar (C’14), provides new or gently used books for children up to age 15 in any language. The first year the effort brought in more than 3,000 books.

“Books transformed my existence, bringing me to a plane where intellect and love could be realized,” says Sizar, who grew up being one of the few people of color in his Pennsylvania neighborhood. “I found that reading is the process of giving life to expressions and symbols, words and feeling. Later I realized that others might not be as blessed as I was.”

High Stakes Problem

He said he decided to “make it right one step at a time. That’s when the Bring on the Books Drive was born.”

Because Sizar is graduating from Georgetown College in May, he is passing the responsibility for the drive to Charlie Long (C’15). Tyler Bridge (C’17), Jane Song (C’14) and Kevin Lo (C’16) also will spearhead the effort, uniting more external and internal partners to expand the initiative.

“As an organization, Bring on the Books uses a very low stakes donation model to make a big impact on the high stakes problem of childhood illiteracy,” Long says. “Going forward in an increasingly digital age, it's important to find a way to technically keep our organization relevant while also staying true to our mission.”

A Community Effort

“Georgetown’s Bring on the Books Drive unites institutions, organizations and individuals in recognizing that all children deserve the opportunity to have books to read,” Sizar says. “This begins within the community and bringing our neighbors and friends together.”

This year the drive, sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost and The Corp, began March 17 and runs through April 25.

The drive also has a number of external partners, including the British School of Washington, Deloitte’s Arlington, Va., office, Saxby’s, Georgetown University Bookstore, George Washington University Bookstore, the University of Maryland, Council Rock High School, Dean and Deluca, Georgetown Law Center and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Arlington.

Inspiration and Comfort

“Children, no matter what their circumstances, deserve to experience the joy of having their very own books,” says Provost Robert Groves. “These are books that children can return to again and again for inspiration, comfort and a world outside the ones they know.”

“Bring on the Books is a wonderful example of a student-run initiative that is in keeping with the Jesuit tradition of women and men for others,” Groves adds. “Sohayle has done an amazing job with it, and I am thrilled that this effort will continue for years to come.”

Georgetown students, faculty and staff can donate books in bins located in Lauinger Library’s Midnight Mug, at the Georgetown Bookstore, in two campus coffee shops – Uncommon Grounds in the Leavey Center and the Intercultural Center’s More Uncommon Grounds (MUG) – as well as Vital Vittles.

Children's books can be also be purchased and donated at the Georgetown Bookstore, which will give a 20 percent discount throughout the drive.

Books may also be mailed to: 1608 Leavey Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057.

Georgetown University37th and O Streets, N.W., Washington D.C. 20057(202) 687.0100

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