Hi! My name is Bria Wurst, and I’m a junior at Panther Creek High School in Cary, NC. I recently became aware that students in North Carolina are struggling with basic reading skills. I read an article in October written by WRAL education reporter Kelly Hinchcliffe: “NC students continue to struggle with reading despite millions spent on literacy program, new test scores show.” I was shocked to learn that despite the state’s efforts to increase student reading levels through literacy programs, proficiency rates still didn’t show significant growth. Reading has always been incredibly important to me, so I was immediately inspired to do something to try and make a difference. I decided to organize a book drive through my neighborhood in the hope that the books I collected would allow children to read more.
I started by looking for a place where I could donate children’s books. I came across Book Harvest, and thought it was perfect. My parents helped me post a message on a neighborhood app called NextDoor, where we asked neighbors to look for children’s books that they didn’t need anymore. On a Sunday afternoon, my dad and I drove to each home and collected boxes full of children’s books, ranging from Goodnight Moon to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Some families left their donations on their porches, while others were home and answered their doors holding cardboard boxes, filled to the top with all sorts of different books. Everyone that I spoke to was so enthusiastic about the idea, and so happy that they were able to make a positive impact.
After spending the afternoon collecting books, I put them in my family’s garage. I originally estimated that I had collected about 600 books. A few weeks later, I dropped all the books off at Book Harvest in Durham. I soon found out that I had actually donated 1,240 books! Knowing that every single one of those books would go to a child was just amazing. It’s such a great feeling to know that you’re making a positive impact in someone else’s life. The experience was easy, fun, and so enlightening. I would definitely encourage anyone – teenagers, children, adults, anyone – to collect books and donate to Book Harvest. No matter how many books you donate, you should remember that even just one makes a difference in a child’s life, and that’s what matters most! I’m really grateful for this incredible experience and I would love for everyone to feel the same way I do.
Check out WRAL’s story about Bria’s book drive!
If Bria’s story inspires you to join Book Harvest in our work to ensure all kids have the opportunity to grow up loving books the way she did, now is the perfect time to run your own book drive! In just over a month, we’ll celebrate Dream Big, our annual book drive and community celebration on MLK Day. At Dream Big 2019, we collected 44,092 books — and we need your help this year to do it again!
Our online book drive toolkit makes it easy to get your drive started, and there are so many great places to collect books: your neighborhood, your child’s school or sports team, your workplace, your congregation…there’s no limit to the possibilities! And if you sign up online, we’ll make sure to get your drive added to our quickly-growing list of Dream Big book drives!
Questions? Contact Communications and Events Manager Daniele Berman at firstname.lastname@example.org.