COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - An annual book drive almost got derailed this year with the coronavirus outbreak -- but a women’s group found the perfect place for their donations to land.
The Pi Beta Phi Fraternity For Women at the University of South Carolina collected 4,232 books during a book drive this school year.
Each year, the group goes to under-served elementary schools in the Midlands and donates the books, but they were unable to do so this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When trying to figure out what to do with the books, the group said they paired up with UofSC’s College of Education after learning the cost of starting a classroom library can be a burden for young teachers.
“An ideal classroom would have about a thousand books in it for the learners in the classroom,” said Beth White, a program coordinator at the UofSC College of Education. “Getting this donation saves a teacher’s budget, especially a first year teacher.”
Pi Beta Phi’s Perri Liebergall said they’re happy to be able to help, especially during the pandemic when it’s important to make sure students have the resources to be successful.
“We’re really hoping to support those new teachers going into the community,” Liebergall said. “We’re looking forward to seeing the impact that they make.”
According to the National Council of Teachers of English, classroom libraries play a key role in providing access to books and promoting literacy.
“This is just an extra gift,” White said. “Every teacher wants books in the classroom for the readers to grow readers -- so this is perfect.”