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Britney Tabor

Drive to put books in children’s hands

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

The books on display behind the registers at Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Golden Triangle Mall range from childhood favorites to required reading for high school students.

Along with the books — which include classics such as The Berenstain Bears, Where the Wild Things Are and The Catcher in the Rye — is literature encouraging customers to purchase and donate a book for a child assisted by Communities in Schools of North Texas.

For the second year, the Denton Barnes & Noble has partnered with the nonprofit organization to host its Holiday Book Drive, which encourages customers to purchase and donate books to benefit kindergarten through 12th-grade students in Denton County.

“For us, there’s nothing more exciting [than] to put a book into the hands of children and see their face light up,” said Kathleen Schaefer, store manager at the Denton location. “We’re excited about the ability to work with a group like this.”

The book drive continues at the store through Dec. 31, Schaefer said. Kickoff events for the drive will take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 22 and 2 p.m. Dec. 1.

Schaefer said customers are encouraged to purchase anything ranging from their favorite childhood books to popular new titles. Preselected books, some of which are childhood favorites of the bookstore staff, are also available at the registers for people to purchase and donate. A bookplate with the name of the donor can also be included in the book.

The store collected 1,800 donated books last year, Schaefer said, and is looking to double contributions with this year’s drive. As of Tuesday afternoon, about 300 books had been donated.

The Holiday Book Drive has been a corporate-sponsored event for about 15 years, said Linda Germain, national business development manager with Barnes and Noble Inc. Annually for the last five years, more than 1 million books have been donated each year to children in need, she said. Each individual store selects local organizations the drive will benefit.

“At the end of the day, it’s really about getting books into the hands of the kids,” Germain said.

Children love books, said Ann Pape, chief development officer with Communities in Schools of North Texas.

“The great thing about books are they’re not only a great gift but they meet a need,” she said. “A lot of our kids, they come from low-income families, and having a book is wonderful for them, especially for our kids who are learning to read and trying to master their reading skills. It’s just a wonderful thing to have a book in the home.”

Communities in Schools works with at-risk students at 35 schools across Denton and Wise counties. The organization offers dropout-prevention and after-school programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Of the students they assist, 4,300 live in Denton County, Pape said.

She said Communities in Schools appreciates having Barnes & Noble as a partner.

“We’re so happy they share our mission to help children stay in school, graduate and achieve in life,” she said.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.