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Campus Life

Collecting Books for Kids This Week

BU book drive commemorates Dr. Seuss and “Read Across America” Day


Photo by Hillary Lang

Theodor Geisel may not be a household name, but his pseudonym certainly is. As Dr. Seuss, Geisel (1904-91) not only wrote dozens of best-selling children’s books, he helped generations of children learn how to read and to love reading. The author of such classics as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Geisel’s whimsical drawings and poetic meter remain as popular today as when his books first appeared in print.

All week long (February 22-25), the College of General Studies Community Service Club and the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity are sponsoring a book drive for children to commemorate Geisel’s March 2 birthday, which is the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day. The two BU groups will distribute the donations to local after-school sites that day, among them St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and the West End House Boys and Girls Club. Books can be dropped off at the George Sherman Union Link and the CGS lobby.

After last semester’s successful toy drive, Adam Adelson (CAS’12), the fraternity’s community service chairman and outreach coordinator of the Community Service Club, says that the two groups decided to join together once again to help children in need. Adelson is confident that their first attempt at a book drive will get a great response.

“Given that we managed to collect so many toys during our toy drive,” he says, “I imagine that we will receive hundreds of books, which will directly affect the lives of hundreds of young people in the Boston area.” Any and all books, new and used, appropriate for children up to age 18 will be accepted. Once the book drive is completed, the volunteers will sort through the donations and distribute them accordingly, depending on the location.

For students who don’t have any children’s books on hand, Adelson suggests going to the nearby Goodwill Store, 965 Comm Ave, where you can buy one “for a dollar or two. Better yet,” he says, “go to Barnes & Noble and use your convenience points.”

The Read Across America program was created in 1998 to commemorate Geisel’s birthday and to encourage every child in every community to celebrate reading that day as a way of honoring Geisel’s legacy. Adelson hopes the BU book drive will make kids in the community excited about reading.

“I remember how excited I got during story time when I was a kid,” he says, “and I can only imagine that the kids will have a similar reaction when they receive their new books.”

Dr. Seuss himself would likely agree. As the author once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

The book drive is all this week, February 22 to 25, at the GSU Link, 775 Commonwealth Ave., and the CGS Lounge, 871 Commonwealth Ave. More information on the NEA’s Read Across America program, including ideas for reading activities, can be found here.

Tom Vellner can be reached at tvellner@bu.edu.

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