By Brian Park
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School students Carolyn King, Victoria Lee and Alissa and Harout Ohanesian are all avid readers with a penchant for sharing their passion for literature with others. So much so, the four were moved to start a campus club, Books for a Bright Future, to organize their efforts.
In December, the four students executed a successful book drive at school that resulted in nearly 4,000 donated books—all within a three-week period. The donated books, all in good condition, were then delivered to students at Kinoshita Elementary School and Marco Forster Middle School. The rest were donated to San Juan Capistrano Library.
“We all had this idea of wanting to try and give back to the community in a way that would benefit education because we’re passionate about learning and striving for that,” Alissa Ohanesian, 11th grade, said. “We wanted to give back to education, especially to communities that aren’t lucky enough to have the resources we had.”
The club organized a similar book drive last year that resulted in 2,500 donated books. This year, the club was able to increase their haul by sending out a newsletter to the entire St. Margaret’s community—pre, lower, middle and upper schools.
“We had such a large turnout. We could see it was overflowing with books and it was exciting to see our community wanted to help,” Alissa Ohanesian said. “A lot of parents came up to us and were supportive and willing to help.”
The club also reached out to local school librarians and principals to asses each school’s needs. Once the books were collected, the four girls delivered them to Kinoshita and Marco Forster students to take home before their holiday vacation.
“I was just so happy delivering the books to the children. They were all lined up to take them home for Christmas break. It made all the work worth it,” King said. “I’d love to do it again next year.”