Marlborough students collected over 4,000 books during Spirit Week to refurbish the Buchanan Elementary School Library. Community Outreach Program Head Pamela Wright and 24 Marlborough student volunteers coordinated the effort.
Chloe ’21 and Hayden ’20 approached Wright with the idea for a book drive in the summer of 2017.
Hayden was excited to give to a school that does not have the same resources as Marlborough.
“A lot of LAUSD schools cut library budgets, so a lot of the libraries are really outdated. It’s something I feel really passionate about because Marlborough has such a great library and not every school has the same resources,” Hayden said.
Chloe and Hayden discovered Access Books, a non-profit organization that provides quality books to classroom and community libraries where at least 90 percent of students live at or below the poverty line. Access Books has given over 1,500,000 books to more than 270 libraries.
Access Books connected Wright to the Title One Reading Program, a program that provides reading resources to elementary and secondary schools in low income areas that lack resources for a voluminous library. Access Books told Wright they would need at least 2,000 gently-used children’s books for children in grades K-5. By the end of Spirit Week on Jan. 26, Marlborough had collected north of 4,000 books.
Wright said that even though community service is driven by competition between grades, she is proud of the donations the students made.
“To know that these books are going to a library is, to me, what’s so special about Spirit Week. To know that the items we collect serve a greater purpose than points for classes is what makes Spirit Week truly spiritual,” Wright said.
On Saturday, Feb. 24, the volunteers not only donated the books, but painted murals, built shelves and organized the Buchanan Elementary School library. Sophie ’20, who volunteered, said that she felt proud of the work they had done when she left Buchanan.
“We all felt a great sense of accomplishment to have worked together and left that school’s library a better place with more books for the kids. It was a great experience, and I hope Marlborough will sponsor more of these events,” Sophie said.