Church-Wide Book Drive for Wilkinsburg Elementary Schools

Have you decided to give something up for Lent this year? How about giving up one or more books to donate to a local school in need. The Deacons are gathering books for elementary school children in Wilkinsburg, where roughly 40% of students are known to be functionally homeless (living in unstable situations or in temporary locations). Most are children of ethnic minorities, so the goal is to gather books with positive portrayals of children of color and their families, so these kids might easily relate to the stories and see themselves in the characters they read about.

We are not asking you to weed through your children’s book selection at home, but rather to consider seeking out some specific books to inspire minority children in grades K through 6, or approximately age 5 through 12.

Please pick up a flyer with a list of book ideas, generated by some web research and suggestions from our friendly neighborhood child librarian, Megan. Additional books featuring minority children would also be welcomed, particularly ones portraying friendship, adventure, kindness, finding strength to do what’s right in difficult situations, etc. Some suggested titles are posted below.

Also, feel free to browse through the books on display in the sanctuary. Consider shopping at Half Price Books, on, or in other discounted locations or websites…books can be gently used or new. We want to make sure we have books for each age group so if you are buying more than one, please consider representing more than one age group.

Books can be donated at the church any time during Lent. The books will be delivered shortly after Easter. As a mom of a 6-year-old, I experience daily how enjoyable reading together can be for us both. Watching my daughter learn to sound out words and read some on her own is really exciting. Our hope is that the book donation will have a positive impact on some of our most vulnerable and marginalized local young people, and help foster a life-long love of reading. Thank you for your consideration!

—Jen Wheitner

Here is a list of Suggested Books for our Book Drive.  We are looking for books that have positive role models for children especially of African –American identity.  Other books with a similar theme are welcome.  If you plan to buy more than one book, please pick from different age groups.  You may be able to buy books for less money from Half Price books or through used book sites that come up on Amazon

Ages 2-5

Ages 4-7

Ages 8-12

Here are some websites to learn more about the books: /staff-picks/african-american- identity-everyday-life-books- preschoolers/ /staff-picks/african-american- history-biography-culture- books-preschoolers/ /staff-picks/african-american- identity-everyday-life-books- elementary-school/

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