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Saint Mary’s Book Drive teams up with WorldWide Books this Christmas

| Thursday, December 11, 2014

This Christmas, some celebrators may look for a bowed vehicle in their driveway, while others consider themselves lucky to receive a donated book. This holiday season, Saint Mary’s student body is catering to the latter.

The College is hosting a two-week book drive that ends Dec. 19 in an attempt to increase literacy and to encourage students to focus on giving rather than on receiving, Erin Cisneros, senior member of the Saint Mary’s Environmental Action Coalition (SMEAC), said.

Cisneros said although all genres of books are welcome, textbooks would be the most useful donations because they are informative, expensive and casual — students will have no purpose for them once the semester ends. The drive’s acceptance of textbooks regardless of their condition leaves no student with an excuse to not participate, Cisneros said.

“We are hoping that girls will choose to provide knowledge to others who don’t have the same opportunities as us,” she said. “Students can give away any reading materials they no longer want.”

The recipients are not the only ones benefitting from the donations, Cisneros said. She said the drive was an opportunity for Saint Mary’s students to learn the value of selfless giving in the holiday spirit by giving away a book or two.

Cisneros said the books collected on the College’s campus would then be given to WorldWide Books, an organization that has donated over 3 million books globally and an organization with ties to numerous institutions who share a the desire to spread a love of learning. WorldWide Books centers around raising awareness to the growing issue of illiteracy, hoping also to help the environment by promoting recycling, she said. Each year, it donates hundreds of thousands of books to people around the world in the hopes that everyone can gain at least a little bit of knowledge and can appreciate the importance of education.

Cisneros said students should consider how lucky they are to attend college at all, given that 785 million people who are over 15 years old live without literacy.

WorldWide Books serves both the local and a national community to create maximum impact on this statistic, Cisneros said. She said the organization takes hundreds of thousands of damaged books and turns them into useable paper.

Cisneros said like the Saint Mary’s Book Drive, WorldWide Books encourages people to recognize the value of basic reading and comprehension skills, for these can lead to eventual employment. She said the success of the Book Drive lies in the students hands.

“It’s important that students participate because we have been blessed to attend such a prestigious college and others would do anything to trade places with us,” Cisneros said. “Everybody deserves the gift of an education.”

About Martha Reilly

Martha is a senior majoring in English literature and political science. She currently serves as Saint Mary's editor but still values the Oxford comma in everyday use.

Contact Martha