High school students collecting books for elementary students

dyawger@mercedsunstar.comFebruary 16, 2014 

Leadership class students at Merced High School have set an ambitious goal – collecting 700 books this month and donate them to Alicia Reyes Elementary School pupils.

Hoshi Xiong, Merced High student body president, came up with the idea to collect books for kindergarteners through sixth-graders.

Although many books have been collected, a lot more are needed to reach the goal, according to Haydee Arreola-Tovar, the school’s student activities director.

“I think it’s really great,” Arreola-Tovar said. “This is their first time doing it. We also need the community to help out if they can.”

Merced High students hope to deliver the books to Reyes School pupils in April or early May.

Xiong said his motivation for organizing the book drive is to try to influence younger children to continue with their education.

“My motivation for this book drive is my love for reading,” Christina Lopez, freshman class secretary, said. “I want the younger generations to read and love books like I do. People nowadays get so caught up in TV and electronic devices. I want to make sure that books don’t die out, because books are amazing, and I want to share the experience of reading an excellent book and falling in love with a series.”

The school’s commissioner of clubs, Jaymee Illescas, wanted the committee to encourage younger children to read more so that when they are in high school they won’t struggle.

“Reading is an essential thing for them, so I think doing this would help them feel that reading is fun and not a job,” she said.

Duy Trinh, sophomore class vice president, said he wants to help the younger generation develop a vivid imagination through the gift of books.

“Besides reading books for school to help me be a better writer, books assist in learning more about all the wonders of the world, thus making reading one of my favorite pastimes,” Trinh said.

Community members interested in helping the book drive may call Arreola-Tovar at (209) 385-6488 or drop off books at the school office.

Sun-Star staff writer Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

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