Community service is mandatory for Beverly Hills middle and high school students, but now elementary students are getting an early lesson. Fourth-graders at all four city elementary schools are lending a hand—and giving a book—to BookEnds, a California-based nonprofit group that recycles children's reading material.
just finished its BookEnds drive, a few weeks after . The kids managed the whole book donation process, said Anna German, a fourth-grade parent who serves as the Horace Mann PTA's vice president for community service.
“They collected the books and spent an entire afternoon sorting them,” German said.
Many of the donated books came from the students’ own collections. The fourth-graders met their goal of collecting 2,011 books in the year 2011.
Horace Mann made its delivery to sister school Los Angeles Elementary on Monday. Located near the intersection of West Pico Boulevard and Western Avenue, L.A. Elementary is a different world from what we are accustomed to in Beverly Hills. It has a student body that is 95 percent Hispanic, 2 percent African-American, 2 percent Asian and 1 percent Caucasian. More than 90 percent of the students at L.A. Elementary are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
The school’s principal, Bruce Clark, held an assembly to thank the Beverly Hills students for coming and stressed how important the books are to his students. Most of the donated books go to the L.A. Elementary library.
During their visit, the Horace Mann fourth-graders were paired with younger L.A. Elementary students to read to them, and help them to read out loud. Each of the younger students was then allowed to select one of the donated books to take home.
A few months ago, I wrote about how the Beverly Hills Unified School District is particularly active during the holiday season. It is good to see community service continuing throughout the school year, reminding students to think often about those less fortunate than themselves.
While the recipients of the BookEnds books get the gift of reading, the Horace Mann students get the gift of helping others.
“It made me feel great I was donating books to kids in need,” Horace Mann fourth-grader Evan Pizzurro said. “I hope that they will learn more and be able to read more with these books.”