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Seventh Graders Take the Wheel for Book Drive

The seventh graders personally delivered boxes of books to 24th Street Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Miranda Payne.
The seventh graders personally delivered boxes of books to 24th Street Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Miranda Payne.

The Seventh Grade’s annual two-week book drive, a tradition that dates back several years, reached its close this year on Feb. 4. Ever since the first year of the initiative, Book Ends, an organization that coordinates student-run book drives, has paired up with Marlborough’s Seventh Grade in order to ensure the success of the community-outreach project. During this project, the Seventh Grade strives to get the entire school community to bring in gently used books that can be donated to a school in need.

According to Seventh Grade Dean and Librarian Nichole Gomez, the book drive centers around the idea of “kids helping kids,” especially those who attend schools with few resources. Gomez explained that funding for library and school books is often the first cutback during budget decreases, so the seventh graders’ book collection has a big impact on children’s lives and educations.

During the planning for the book drive, the seventh graders take the lead and do most of the organizing for the event. The exception to the students’ control is the organization by Community Service Coordinator Nadia Hopper—she facilitates the visit of a Book Ends representative, who comes to campus and talks to the Seventh Grade during a class meeting. Sophia ’19, the grade’s Community Outreach Representative, was in charge of ensuring that the entire school community was aware of and enthusiastic about the drive.

“It was a lot of fun getting the school involved because the seventh grade got to be creative while doing so!” Sophia said. She went on to explain that in order to promote the book drive while keeping Marlborough a “green” school, she made an online poster for the digital signage boards around school.

The Seventh Grade’s goal this year was to collect 1,750 books. Even though the class only collected 769, Sophia said that she was happy that 769 more books would go to children in need who otherwise would not receive any.

Every year, on the last day of the book drive, the seventh-grade students take the books to the gym, organize them by reading level, pack them into boxes and load them onto the bus. This year, around 15 girls went on the bus to personally deliver the boxes of books to 24th Street Elementary School, where they bonded and read to students.

“I think it was a really moving experience for the seventh graders,” Gomez said.

Gomez said that she believed that the book drive has a positive impact on the Marlborough community. By promoting entire school participation and support for a common cause, the seventh graders create a sense of unity throughout the school across grade levels. She noted that the project also has a profound influence on seventh-grade students.

“The girls were really excited to be involved in the process, and they felt very attached to the idea of sharing their love of reading with other students in Los Angeles,” Gomez said.