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Underserved, Homeless D.C. Children to Receive Books From Drive

March 12, 2013 – A literacy initiative, founded by a Georgetown student and supported by numerous university departments and the surrounding community, will provide books to underserved children in Washington, D.C., for the second time this year.

The Bring on the Books drive, created by Sohayle Sizar (C’14), will provide new or gently used books for children up to age 15 in any language.

The drive began in February and runs through April 5.

Last year the drive collected 3,300 books, 2,300 more than the 2012 goal. This year’s goal has been raised to 3,500, but Sizar hopes that number will be exceeded.

Community Partners

This year partners include the White House Office of Correspondence, PNC Bank in Georgetown, the Burleith Citizen's Association, the Washington International School, the Latin American Initiative at the Brookings Institute, Friends of Georgetown Library, British School of Washington, Hyde-Addison Elementary School, Ritz Carlton and Deloitte's Rosslyn, Va., office.

“Georgetown’s Bring on the Books Drive unites institutions, organizations and individuals in the belief that all children deserve the opportunity to have a book to read,” Sizar says. “But this belief begins within the community and starts with bringing our neighbors together.”

“That's why this year the Bring on the Books drive is reaching out to individuals and organizations in D.C. to collect books for D.C. youth,” he adds. “My goal is to put more books in the hands of children in D.C. schools.”

Core Commitments

A promotional poster for "Bring on the Books" with the all-caps "Help Us Bring on the Book" against a background of books.

Numerous offices and centers on campus, including the Office of the Provost and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, are supporting the drive.

"Every child deserves to experience the friendship of a book," says Provost Robert Groves. "It is this relationship that changes lives, that inspires and invigorates children from all types of backgrounds."

Groves says Bring on the Books "believes in this friendship," and is for the many children who will receive books from the drive. 

“Faith, service and the promotion of literacy – this project wonderfully fulfills Georgetown's core commitments to interfaith dialogue, service to others, and education of the whole person,” says Melody Fox Ahmed, the Berkley Center’s assistant director for programs and operations. “With Bring on the Books, Sohayle makes the important connection that the promotion of knowledge and service to others are two shared callings that are vitally important across the world's great faith traditions.”

Richard Roe, a Georgetown law professor, uses some of the books for his Literacy and Law course, which includes students conducting literacy activities at least an hour every week.

“This year, our students tutored at Jubilee Jumpstart, an early learning center in Adams Morgan for mostly Hispanic children under age 4,” says Roe, who directs the Law Center’s D.C. Street Law Program, “and the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School (LAMB).”

Donation Spots

Georgetown students, faculty and staff can donate books in bins located in Lauinger’s Midnight Mug and 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 Saxby’s on O Street.

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