UA group collects books to benefit area children

“Akron Council of Education Students (ACES) is currently collecting books to benefit a national organization known as First Book. President of the UA organization, Sarah Goldstein that ACES is an organization for education students that discusses issues related to education.”

Akron Council of Education Students (ACES) is currently collecting books to benefit a national organization known as First Book. President of the UA organization, Sarah Goldstein that ACES is an organization for education students that discusses issues related to education. We have workshops for pre-service teachers and do service projects. ACES has been around since the 1980s and was inactive for several years, but Goldstein says they have been working for the past couple of years to rebuild it. There are about 20 students on campus who are involved with the organization.

Goldstein said that First Book is a national organization that provides books to children from low-income families. The First Book Web site explains First Book is a nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. This national organization only collects NEW books for children up to age 18. First Book stressed that the books be new because it will help to promote self-esteem in the children they give the books to, Goldstein said. Although the books must be new, they can be a variety of books; picture books, beginning chapter books and novels. According to the Web site, the organizer provides an ongoing supply of new books to children participating in community-based mentoring, tutoring and family literacy programs.

ACES got involved with First Book after they were contacted because First Book thought an education group would be interested in helping promote literacy in children, states Goldstein. This is the first time ACES has been involved with First Book. Goldstein believes it is important to donate to First Book because, especially in this difficult economic time, children need something to call their own. Michelle Ondrick, ACES Treasurer, said The First Book drive is important because literacy is the base for all learning. It is especially important to help children in need get access to books because being literate is a lifetime skill that can help those children achieve success. ACES is working with the Greater Akron Chapter of First Book, so all the books will go to local area children.

Goldstein says we chose to get involved with First Book because as education students we know the importance of children having books in their homes to promote literacy and for children to learn to love books.

Ondrick adds, By donating books, we are giving those children an opportunity to escape from their circumstances along with promoting their creativity, imagination, and academic success. Other organizations involved with First Book are: Pi Lambda Theta, an educational honor society, Association of Honors Educators and Golden Key International Honor Society.

Not only are University of Akron organizations doing this, but organizations are also involved at Kent State University. A representative from the Portage Chapter of First Book contacted ACES as well as an Education Student Organization at Kent about making it a competition to see who could collect the most books between the two schools. Goldstein believes it is a good idea to have a competition because students will want to beat Kent State. Hopefully, students will donate more books in the effort to win the competition.

The book drive is from Nov. 17 – Dec. 5, but books will continue to be collected throughout exam week, which is until Dec. 11. Before Dec. 5, books can be dropped off in the Zook Hall Lobby, Zook Hall Room 228, the HUB in the Student Union and also at the Honors College. During exam week, students can drop the books off in Zook Hall room 228, which is the Student Teaching Office. If there are further questions about the book drive, Sarah Goldstein adds she can be reached at aces_ua@yahoo.com.

Goldstein makes a note that most importantly Although the book drive is a competition between Akron and Kent, the children that get the books are the ones who will win. Donating to First Book is an easy way to help local children.