One day Brooke Trevett, a 10-year-old living in Oswego County, New York, was clearing out her personal library of hundreds of books when she was struck with an idea: why not put these books directly into the hands of kids who don’t have enough books or who don’t have any books? Soon, with a little assistance from her mother, the ambitious 4th grader had come up with a service project to do exactly that. She began collecting donations of reading and writing supplies from the community and distributing them to children in need. Naming her undertaking Brooke’s Books Project, Brooke began to spread her love of literacy with children far and wide.
“It started when I collected food for the hurricane in Puerto Rico because their power went out. It was a big hurricane in history and I wanted to help. Mom said I could do what I wanted as long as I had money so I started asking people for help with projects.”
Brooke already loved giving back to her community and soon came up with a plan for exactly how to organize and distribute the supplies. Using some of her own money, she purchased brand new backpacks on end-of-season clearance after the current school year began. Her plan was to put the books in the backpacks because that would make it easy to give supplies to a child in need.
She then decided that each backpack would be stuffed with at least five books, writing supplies such as notebooks or journal pages, writing utensils and “one extra thing to make it a little fun.”
“The greatest thing about this project is people really need stuff but can’t afford it. If I give it out, it’ll give them more opportunities to be positive.“ ~Brooke
She solicited the help of the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County, New York for guidance with the project. Each Brooke’s Book bag is distributed to children in need throughout Oswego County, just to start, but she would love to expand the project. While the initial focus has been for students in grades K-2, Brooke is very excited that the project has taken off and she is happy to accept any and all donations of gently-used or new backpacks (or cinch sacks or reusable bags) and books. She also asks for donations of new writing supplies for children of any age.
I learned of the project when her mother, Becca, reached out to me via Facebook, looking for authors who’d like to get involved. (Which I sure did, and promptly sent her a good handful of my books. center picture above) Talking to Becca, I was impressed with how much effort actually goes into the project. Becca helps her daughter by doing things for the project that only adults can do, like handling the project’s social media, purchasing supplies, driving Becca to events, coordinating efforts with donors and recipients, as well as scheduling community involvement and outreach.
Just for fun, I asked Brooke what kinds of books she likes to read:
“I really love reading ‘The Tapper Twins.’” (by Geoff Rodkey) “It gives me more energy to be nice, kind and generous.” ~Brooke
I also asked Brooke if she feels like her project is making a difference in the world. I was delighted by her answer:
“I hope to change the lives of people by helping them see they’re not the only people in the world that go through a lot – to be poor, or to be bullied. The #1 thing that Brooke’s Books can do is to make kids happy. Kids read to learn about life and other kids.” ~Brooke
Please help Brooke’s Books Project reach its next goal of 400 page Likes by Liking Brooke’s Project Facebook page here:
If you would like to go the extra mile and donate books, bags or writing supplies for kids, items may be sent to: Brooke’s Books Project, 55 E. 6th St., Oswego, NY 13126.
For questions, please message Brooke’s mother, Becca, at the Facebook page above or email her at: brookesbooks4u at gmail dot com.
Brooke and Becca would also love it if you’d simply share their Facebook page with your friends and family to help them spread the word!
Thanks, as always, for reading!
Disclosure: Some of the book links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
All photos courtesy Brooke’s Books Project.