Book Drive Collects 3,000 Books for Local Schools and Libraries


New Jersey MENTOR collected more than 3,000 books in a book donation drive in October.  The project provided new and gently used books to libraries and schools throughout New Jersey.

“New Jersey MENTOR is pleased to help put books into the hands of our neighbors, with the hope that they will inspire a lifetime love of reading for children as well as adults,” New Jersey MENTOR Executive Director Valery Bailey said.  “This was a chance for all of us to give back to our community by helping our local libraries and schools expand their resources.”

Many of the books collected in the book drive were donated to schools in the Camden City School District, including Henry B. Wilson Family School, Harry C. Sharp Elementary School and Veterans Memorial Family School in Camden.

“Many of the people we serve are children, and we know the impact that learning and academic growth can have on a child’s well-being,” Bailey added.  “We are grateful for this opportunity to provide these much-needed books to schools in the Camden community.”

The book drive was organized by staff of New Jersey MENTOR and its partner REM New Jersey.  Staff members and foster parents involved friends and family in the donation effort, collecting books for every age group, from toddlers to adults.  Team members took the book donation drive as a challenge to help improve quality of life for their neighbors, with many donating from their personal libraries.  Briana Smith-Gibbs, a Quality Assurance Specialist in Mt. Laurel, collected 1,287 books for the book drive. 

“People really took this project to heart, going above and beyond to collect as many books as possible,” said Brooke Christine, an Intake and Recruitment Manager who was one of the book drive’s organizers.  “The entire New Jersey MENTOR team pulled together to make these donations happen.”

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