H-F book collection MT011620_web
Local News

2 H-F student groups sponsor book drive for MLK Day of Service

  Students at Homewood-Flossmoor High
  School are collecting books for needy kids
  in Chicago as part of the Martin Luther King Jr.
  Day of Service. Red Bird Cafe in Homewood
  is a donation drop-off point through Monday.
  Volunteers working on the project are, from
  left, Aranda Porter, Nya Brunson, Madilyn Harris,
  Brianna Bridges, Kevin Cawley and Eliana D'Astici.
  The students are members of the Friends of the
  H-F Library and the National Honor Society.

  (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)

Inequities in children's literature can result in "book deserts," but Homewood-Flossmoor High School leaders are contributing to a solution, watering the desert with books.

The H-F National Honor Society chapter and Friends of the H-F High Library are sponsoring a book drive as part of the MLK Day of Service project. Books for preschool through sixth grade readers are being collected.

The group's adult sponsor, Marina Brennan, said the group learned about the problem of book deserts — areas where access to books is hampered by poverty — from high school librarian Alicia Rodriguez. 

The students also learned about inequity in racial representation from Evan Roberts, H-F science teacher and author of the "Khahari Discovers" book series.  

The drive started last year with help from community member Maggie Bachus. This year students decided the project would have a bigger impact if they opened it up to the community. There are drop off sites at Redbird Cafe, 2057 Ridge Road in Homewood, and at the H-F library, 999 Kedzie Ave. in Flossmoor, according to NHS member Eliana D'Astaci. Books will be accepted through Monday.

"We are donating the books through an amazing program called Bernie's Book Bank," Eliana said.

The organization has distributed more than 17 million books since 2009, according to its website. It focuses on providing books to the low income families that lack adequate access to children's literature.

The student leaders working on the literacy presentation and book drive include Brianna Bridges, NHS chapter president; Eliana D’Astici, chapter media specialist; and chapter leadership representatives  Makiya Jenkins, John Prokop, Haley Rampage and Camille Willis. Friends of the H-F Library volunteers include Nya Brunson and Madilyn Harris.

Brennan said the project exemplies the leadership and community service values that are core parts of NHS. 

"I never cease to be impressed with what our students bring to the table both in terms of knowledge base and community connections," she said.

She said students hope to keep the book drive going as an annual event.

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