The University of La Verne held its second annual book drive to benefit the Literacy Center from Sept. 19 through Oct. 10.
Nine local Starbucks restaurants sponsored “Helping Children Read for Life,” allowing people to donate new books for children grades 1-12.
“Books and coffee, can’t get any better than that,” said Jacob Delgado, a sophomore physical education major. “ I just wanted to influence some kids by helping with their reading.”
Marsha Soboh, director of development for the College of Education and Organizational Leadership, came up with the idea for the book drive.
“I went to the local Starbucks stores and talked to district managers and managers and they agreed it was a great idea,” Soboh said. “They also liked the idea of having their customers and employees involved in the community, that was a primary reason.”
Last year the Literacy Center collected more than 1,000 books within a three month span. Unfortunately, this year they were only given three weeks because of conflicting schedules with Starbucks.
“This year will be a little different because we are only asking for new books for the children,” Soboh said. “Last year we asked for new and used and we got several used, some we could not use and some of them were for adults.”
Literacy Center Director Janice Pilgreen added: “We are truly grateful to everyone who gives and to the people at Starbucks for their tremendous commitment.”
All contributions are tax deductible and all books will be ?presented to the Literacy Center. “I do go and personally pick up the books at all the locations so that I can personally thank everyone who helped,” Soboh said.
This year the center received 300 books from donations.
“I am very pleased with the outcome,” Soboh said. “I think it came out great considering we changed requirements this year and had half the time to achieve it.”
The University’s Literacy Center was established in 2001 and is operated by the University’s education department.
Graduate students provide tutoring for the children referred from surrounding school districts, all under ULV faculty supervision, to advance their reading skills.
“We will definitely be continuing this and doing it in the spring,” Soboh said.
Amira Seyoum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.