Honor Society and Canby Center celebrate successful book drive
Last week, the Canby Center threw a pizza party for the National Honor Society to celebrate the students' efforts in collecting books for the center's Reading Mentors program.
"…These hardworking students understand firsthand how reading skills positively affect a child's academic achievement," said Kathleen Hanberg, the Canby Center's Reading Mentors coordinator. "I want to thank them—and what better way to thank teenagers than to bring them pizza?"
During the book drive, the National Honor Society collected 438 books for the Reading Mentors program, through which volunteers meet once a week with students in four of Canby's elementary schools to read together. The goal of the program is to strengthen the community's young readers, and it now impacts about 128 students.
"...We thought it really fit with what we stand for, as far as strong academics and leadership, so we wanted to do this as a project." -Marika Bierma
"I went and talked to the Canby Center to ask them just what sort of projects they needed help with," said Canby High School senior Marika Bierma. "And then we heard about the Reading Mentors program and we thought it really fit with what we stand for, as far as strong academics and leadership, so we wanted to do this as a project."
While the honor society didn't achieve their lofty book collection goal, they are happy with the results as this is their first year taking on a book drive. They hope to make it an annual event.
"One reason I love this book drive is that is that the high school students have a positive way to make a difference in their community," Hanberg said. "They genuinely care about helping out the younger kids. And the young readers feel so special when they learn that the 'big kids' gathered all of these books for them! When kids see that reading is valued by older kids, it contributes to their positive attitudes about reading."
And the National Honor Society students aren't the only ones helping out. The program now has 64 dedicated volunteer readers, and others have held book drives as well. In late summer, Eagle Scout Ty Leder held a drive, and throughout March, McKenzie Bigge from 91 School is holding one. Her bins are located at 91 School and at Gwynn's Coffeehouse.
"We have an amazing community," Hanberg said. "I'm so grateful that as our relatively new program begins to grow, so many people have shown that they want to contribute in one way or another."