My dear friend, Christine Marino, teaches ELA in a minimum-security prison in Western New York. Her students, mostly 18-35 year-old men, are highly-motivated learners working on their GEDs and preparing to be released at some point. They’re commitment to securing jobs inspires them to work diligently to improve their reading and writing skills, making them motivated readers. Of course, they also love to read for enjoyment and escapism from the boredom and day-to-day drudgery they endure. The prison library currently has just 100 books for 1,300 men (that’s one book — one book! — for every 130 men!) and doesn’t contain any books published after 1970. Think of all the A.MAZ.ING books that have been published since 1970! Can you imagine not having access to Roots, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Color Purple, Beloved, The Things They Carried, The Giver, Unbroken, or any of the books in the Harry Potter series?!?
Christine has secured the necessary permission to build the library with new, unused, paperback books. Thanks to the generosity and kindness of friends and teacher-friends, I’m over-the-moon excited to deliver these books to the prison on Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, that will double their library collection!
I’d love to make a second delivery. If this project fits with your giving-back-to-the-community goals, please consider donating a book or two and/or sharing this link with others who may also want to help.
Thank you for helping build a library for these young men that will inspire them to keep learning, growing, and reading, and thank you for being the difference you want to see in the world. Please know every book donation is appreciated and valued more than words can express!