Literacy Drive to Give Books to Disadvantaged Youth in D.C.
March 2, 2012 – Sohayle Sizar (C’14), founder of a national literacy initiative, wants college students to gather their gently used or new books over spring break and bring them back to donate to children in Washington, D.C.
The Bring on the Books drive, which takes place March 9 through April 23, and is at Georgetown for the first time this year, partners with the White House Interfaith Service Challenge, Stanford University, the Brookings Institute and a host of other entities.
“Georgetown University is at the center of this drive,” Sizar says, “leading other great national partners toward the belief that all children deserve the opportunity to have children’s books, that education should not be simply reserved for a few, select amount of children.”
The initiative accepts books for children up to 15 years of age in any language.
“Many college students have their children books in the back of the closet or in the attic and most students aren’t reading those books,” Sizar adds. “So instead of letting the books sit at home, let them sit in the hands of a child.”
Once gathered, the books will go to:
- The D.C. Reads Program, which tutors disadvantaged children throughout D.C. and needs books for tutors to read to children.
- Reach Out and Read Medical Clinics, which are located in disadvantaged areas of D.C. and Baltimore and give each child a book when they come in for a checkup.
- The D.C. Family Court System, which distributes books to juveniles and their siblings within the juvenile justice system.
“Donating books is one aspect of the drive,” Sizar says, “but there’s another aspect that I believe is important. That aspect is humanity. We may be different from one another – different skin colors or cultures, personalities, likes or dislikes – but we are linked together as human beings.”
Georgetown students, faculty and staff can donate books in bins located in Lauinger’s Midnight Mug and the Georgetown Bookstore or mail them to: 1608 Leavey Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057.
“Children need books, no matter what their socioeconomic status,” says Provost James O’Donnell. “Sohayle is an inspiring philanthropist and he’s going to make sure that a lot of disadvantaged children in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere get the books they need.”