ROAR holds their first book drive


Emily Boyle ('23)

Students are encouraged to drop off their donations at the trash-can by the student entrance.

The Reach Out and Read (ROAR) club is collecting gently-used books now until December 20th for patients at local children’s hospitals.
The club advisor, Mr. Michael Mancinelli, emphasizes that this deadline is flexible and no contributions will be turned away if they are donated late. Students looking to donate can drop off books for children ages 5-15 at the brightly-colored trash-can near the student entrance.
This year marks ROAR’s first ever book drive, as well as their first year in existence at East. Sara Rozengarten (‘22), Brett Mellul (‘22) and Hannah Leibowitz (‘22) initiated the creation of ROAR. Within three weeks of their first ever event, they have surpassed their original goal of raising 1,000 books. Now, they are aiming to raise 1,500 books.
“We were kind of blind-sided by how successful [the book drive] was. We thought that this would take much longer than it did,” said Mancinelli.
ROAR is a branch of a larger organization called BookSmiles. BookSmiles works to collect and distribute books to impoverished children from New Jersey and Philadelphia. According to their website, they have helped donate roughly 165,000 books since September of 2017. BookSmiles has assisted ROAR in contacting hospitals in need of donations.
“The ultimate goal is to supply children who are in hospitals the opportunity to choose books to read themselves, and kind of create libraries at the children’s hospitals,” said Mancinelli.
BookSmile’s plans on developing a wider access to books for everyone to read. Mancinelli and ROAR are eager to bring this idea into a reality for patients at children’s hospitals. The club’s main goal is to create a more comforting environment for sick children that are in need of support.
“The kids can choose books to read while they’re [at the hospital], or mom and dad could read a book to the children, nurses or doctors,” said Mancinelli.
Mancinelli said ROAR currently has no future events planned, but a book drive dedicated to children 10-18 years old is most likely the next step. Mancinelli is proud of ROAR’s successful first book drive, and is excited to expand the club throughout the year.