Boxes, Bags, and Bins of Books

Kate Walner

How would you describe your "Choose To Matter" project?  
Lack of supplies in inner city schools is a major problem, especially library books in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). My camp mate Hannah and I chose to help OUSD get more library books. We organized a book drive in support of 3 Elementary schools; Allendale, Brookfield, and Lafayette. We collected 1,149 books of all reading levels and genres giving over 360 books to each school!
Explain what “need” or problem your project is addressing? 
Our project addresses the problem of the lack of library books in OUSD, specifically Allendale, Brookfield, and Lafayette Elementary schools. Books nurture learning and help create better students. With these books, we hope to expand kids’ horizons in reading.
What positive change(s) happened as a result of your project? 
Because of our project, three Oakland elementary schools now have a greater variety and amount of books in their libraries. This is great for students in these underfunded schools because they now have more reading material. It also creates awareness of the need for books in local schools within our soccer club.
What type of creativity/innovation did you use to implement your project? 
Usually, fundraisers mean asking people for money. We created an opportunity where it was easier for people to donate. The book drive helped the schools and students and also may have helped donors clear out books they didn’t need. We also marketed our book drive to the club board and team managers and used practice fields as drop off points so we could include a wider range of book donors.
What did you learn from doing your project? 
We learned that it is easier to give back to our community than we thought. Anybody can do a service project if they set their mind to it. We think that people can and should do more for their communities. Also, that people are often more willing to donate than one might think. We hope to continue assisting our community in any way possible and are sure that we will keep in touch with the schools we donated to.


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