To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the devastation of Super Storm Sandy all throughout the Northeast, Wilton High School sophomores are holding a book drive to replenish one school’s loss of many classroom libraries.
The WHS class of '16 efforts to reach into the community for book and monetary donations began with a partnership with the Norwalk Barnes and Noble store and a bake sale. Next they are planning an open book-donation day.
The Rockaway Scholars Academy in Rockaway, New York, lost most of its classroom libraries and its book storage room to flooding on its first floor during the storm, amounting to hundreds of volumes damaged or destroyed.
Still, a year afterward, their book supplies have not recovered. After contacting the school over the summer, members of Class Project 2016 felt strongly the importance of replenishing the school’s libraries with needed titles, and with new books rather than used leftovers, as previous attempts to restock these libraries have produced.
“We wanted to make sure their classroom libraries looked at least as good as ours,” said Amanda Craven, a sophomore involved in the project in a release. “So we asked for a list of specific titles to make sure 100% of our efforts would give the teachers exactly what they needed for their students.”
Some examples of titles on the list include classics such as Fahrenheit 451, Pride and Prejudice, and Of Mice and Men, as well as more contemporary titles such as Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food and Newspapers Articles to Get Teenagers Talking, and historical books such as 10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War and Fever 1793. The quantities requested of each title vary from three to 270.
The Wilton High School sophomores were first acquainted with the Scholars Academy’s need through two of Wilton’s own ABC A Better Chance scholars who had previously attended the school.
“We became acquainted with many families from Rockaway after being a host family for one of their students,” said Adrienne Ready, Board member for ABC in the release. “Many of us reached out and helped families relocate in the immediate aftermath.”
Nearly a year later there are still students who have not been able to return because their homes still have not been repaired.
Since August the group involved with the Class Project has been working towards raising funds and awareness, and has scheduled an open book-donation day for any resident to donate books and/or money to help them raise the final volumes for the school on Saturday, October 26.
(All books will be delivered on Tuesday, October 29 to the Scholars Academy.)
“We are looking forward to having the Wilton students in our school as we commemorate the one-year anniversary,” said teacher Dannielle Colleran, in the release. “In a time it seems so much of what we hear is negative, what a wonderful thing to see students come together to help out other students.”
On Saturday Sept. 21, several students manned a donation table at the Barnes and Nobles bookstore in Norwalk to collect donations and books for the school and even arranged at the store’s customer service desk for customers to purchase books from the list at the store.
For five weeks until the delivery date, the Norwalk Barnes and Noble store will keep at its customer service desk a list of the titles and quantities needed near a donation bin for books purchased by customers who wish to support the cause.
The students also have put out flyers and book lists around Wilton High School, as well as distributed flyers to each Advisory class, which all students attend as a kind of biweekly guidance class. They also held a bake sale at the Village Market last week with home-baked goods from many members of the class of 2016.
For more information, go to the Wilton Youth Council class projects page or email firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Wilton Youth Council is a nonprofit, all-volunteer community organization that strives to foster positive social and emotional development of the town’s youth, sponsoring programs in the public schools and events in the community at large. It supports class projects as a means by which parents and youth of each class can support one another and fundraise for the class, an endeavor that culminates in the post-graduation party every year.