Early Readers book drive seeking donations around San Marcos

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
July 24, 2012

The Center for P-16 Initiatives at Texas State University-San Marcos, in cooperation with Seeking Opportunities Achieving Results (SOAR) is sponsoring the Early Readers Become Leaders book drive in July.

The annual book drive will continue through July 31, with a goal of collecting 50,000 children's books suitable for ages 0-6. To date, donations exceed 35,000 books.

"We started this book drive in 2009, and each year the donations have increased," said Michelle Hamilton, director of the Center for P-16 Initiatives. "This year, we started with a goal of 14,000 books, but the community response has far exceeded our expectations. We are at 36,000 books and counting, and with the help of the campus community, I know we can reach 50,000."

There are three areas on campus where faculty, staff and students may drop off books in SOAR’s easily identifiable big yellow barrels: the first floor of JCK, the second floor of Alkek Library, and the fourth floor of the LBJ Student Center.

"As educators, we are challenged to prepare all children for success, now and in the future," said Mark Eads, superintendent of the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District. "One of the most important skills for children to acquire is literacy. This is relevant to mastering courses in school, and excelling in most every career in the world outside the classroom."

The books are donated to organizations that serve families with economic need. Donors are asked to provide books that are new or gently used, and that are age appropriate. Books in English and/or Spanish are desired.

"Our student body here in San Marcos is nearly 70 percent economically disadvantaged," said Isaac Torres, grant specialist at the Center for P-16 Initiatives. "We are committed to early childhood readiness as a means of cultivating future citizens who are college-minded and career-ready, and the book drive is fundamental in preparing the students to be exactly that."

More than 40 yellow donation barrels are located throughout San Marcos. Sponsors include the San Marcos Education Foundation along with SOAR, Half-Price Books and the San Marcos Manufacturer’s Association.

For more information visit www.soarsanmarcos.com, or call the Center for P-16 Initiatives at (512) 245-8192.