McMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

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Student Book Drive and Mentoring Encourages Dreams

“I have never forgotten my community and how it is in need of assistance, and this seemed like a great opportunity,” says Alyson Givens, organizer of a book drive by the Sociology Organization for Students (SOS).

Date: 3/9/2005
By: Billie Dziech
Phone: 556-1707
“I have never forgotten my community and how it is in need of assistance, and this seemed like a great opportunity,” says Alyson Givens, organizer of a book drive by the Sociology Organization for Students (SOS). When she and other volunteers discovered that Lincoln Heights Elementary School was “in dire need” of not only books but also mentors to read to the children, they sprang into action.

They spent two weeks collecting books at bins set up at various points around they city. They then decided to give the books directly to the children so they could read them at their leisure rather than having to meet library deadlines. The project was a huge success. They netted about 300 books, but Givens wishes they had received even more.

This is in part because she's not happy about the prospects the children will face in the summer. When members of SOS visited the school to deliver books, the principal informed them that the summer reading program at Lincoln Heights had been cancelled and the local YMCA closed. Givens explains, “This angers me because I wonder how we're supposed to keep the children off the streets when there are no activities for them.”

The best she and other volunteers can do for now is to stay involved and hope others will join them. SOS officers have gone back to Lincoln Heights to tell the children about “college life, why they should go to college, how to make it possible, and hopefully to inspire them to work hard in school and college so they become whatever they desire in their dreams.

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