“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
Quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson
I recently assigned my juniors to independently read a book every nine weeks. We took part of a class period and visited the media center to ensure that every student had access to a variety of books. I was absolutely floored by the emptiness of the building. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised; the county that I work (and live) in is a poor rural county. The average wage in Hoke County is $18,421. Most households’ combined income is less than $50,000. Less than 15% of adult residents hold a degree beyond high school. I also discovered that the library has not had any money to purchase new books since 2009. 2009!
As an avid reader, I find this utterly unacceptable. I raided my personal library and brought in everything that I felt was appropriate for the age and reading levels of my students. I also secured donations of books from John Joseph Adams (thanks!) for both my classroom and the school media center.
I am convinced that writers are not only generous people, but also realize the importance of educating the up and coming generations as much as possible. Therefore, I’m sending out a plea for book donations to help bolster our media center. In addition to the warm fuzzy feeling you will get, the donation can also be used as a tax deduction.
As the primary motivator behind this endeavor, I have volunteered to sort and compile any donations. Books appropriate for high school students can be sent to the following address:
- Hoke County High School
- c/o Rebecca Sasala
- 505 Bethel Rd.
- Raeford, NC 28376
Update: I’ve started an Amazon wish list, but it is by no means exclusive. Our school library is visited by our students as well as teachers and staff. Anything that is not outright erotica is acceptable. If we get multiple copies of a book, they will be offered to English classrooms of appropriate age for their class libraries.