Books for All collects books to donate to West Athens Elementary School


Books for All club collects books to donate to West Athens Elementary. “These are just some of the books I collected,” club president junior Manuela Torres said. Photo courtesy of Manuela Torres.


Daria Milovanova staff writer
In order to give back to the community, Books for All club organizes initiatives to donate books to schools in lower income neighborhoods that lack the privilege of access to a variety of books. 
“In Books for All, we organize book drives where we will collect and donate the books to lower income neighborhoods and the schools in them,” said club president senior Manuela Torres. “I was just thinking about how many people don’t have the privilege that we do to have all this access to so many books, so I thought it’d be a cool way to give back to kids, especially like our age kids, where they have opportunities to read and fall in love with books.”
The club organized a book drive, happening now and until Oct. 31, to donate books to West Athens Elementary School, a public school located in the Los Angeles area. Public Schools Review reports that only 9 percent of students at the elementary school are proficient in math and 18 percent in reading, falling far below California’s state average of 39 percent for math and 50 percent for reading. This is why Books for All finds books so important and their mission so necessary.
“We did some research on a couple candidates for schools and we all decided that Athens Elementary would be a good first option to donate these books to,” Torres said.
Club vice president junior Rhianna Abeel considers books to be a major part of her life. She recognizes and appreciates their role in her childhood development. 
“I always grew up reading books. I’m a huge, huge fan, and I just love books so much. Growing up without them would be really hard because books are a way of knowledge; you learn from reading books. I learned how to read mostly from reading books. I think without books, I don’t think I’d be in the place where I am today,” she said.
Abeel considers books to be an important part of life and wishes all people had the privilege of access to them.
“I think everyone should at least have a chance to read one really good book in their life,” Abeel said.
To donate books, Torres and Abeel encourage students to get in touch with them by email. The club accepts all book donations, even if they are not elementary-level books. Books that are not age-appropriate for elementary kids will go to Goodwill. There is also a drop-off on Nov. 6 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Roxbury Park.