Through the nonprofit organization BookEnds, 2.6 million books have been collected and recycled by 300,000 elementary students and distributed to Los Angeles-area schools with children in need of reading resources. A grant from the Subaru of America Foundation will provide an additional $25,000 worth of books.
An 8-year-old boy, Brandon, began this recycling movement 15 years ago with a suggestion to his class that they provide books for a library at the Hollygrove Children’s Home. For Christmas, his schoolmates donated 847 books to the orphanage.
Several years later, that orphanage was again in need, and Brandon wanted 2,500 more books. He started another book drive, and in five days his school donated 7,000 books – far exceeding the need. So Brandon and his mother, Robin Keefe, looked for schools that could use book donations. They found quite a few in the area that didn’t have a budget for their libraries.
Robin Keefe is now the president of BookEnds, which has provided more than 645 schools with the books to inspire and engage more than 650,000 underserved students. These books have led to vast improvements in diagnostic state test scores for the recipient schools.