Book drive promotes future learning

Khadija Saifullah

Humanity First — Texas Chapter is holding a book drive that aims to assist underprivileged children in the greater Austin community. Unlike usual fundraisers, the book drive provides a more personal and unique approach to donation by transferring knowledge from college students to younger children.

These books will act as a means of transferring knowledge between the two age groups. The initiative should be recognized because of its motive of promoting the perpetual utility of books. 

Humanity First’s national chapter has been running international campaigns that work on helping developing countries. These previous initiatives were productive in raising over $2,000 to provide drinkable water worldwide and almost $10,000 for marginalized youth in Bosnia.

The organization’s Knowledge for Life campaign is an ongoing project throughout the fall and spring semesters with the goal of building schools and providing uniforms and books for a basic education system in countries such as Guatemala, Nigeria and Pakistan.

However, HF catered the Charity Book Drive to focus on the local community of Austin. This initiative promotes the principles of providing education and knowledge for the underprivileged, as does the Knowledge for Life campaign. 

“We work to help better community however we can,” said Al Hirani, Humanity First national programs director. “We hosted a blanket drive that was held during last semester’s winter and sandwich making for around 200 homeless people in Austin. We felt that one initiative that was lacking in our communities is the transfer of education…that initiative is beneficial regardless of where you are in the world.”

This is a unique way of “giving back”, especially as a means of transferring knowledge from college students to younger children. 

According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, reading at a young age has a vital role in fostering early literacy development by building background knowledge and forming concepts. The book drive is a small step to improving reading comprehension in young children. 

An important principle of the Knowledge for Life campaign is realizing the importance of the utility of knowledge and the value of spreading it to others. This drive is essentially a platform that encourages growth for both —college students and children beginning their educational journey. 

“We take a lot of our smallest belongings for granted,” Hirani said. “Some of our books are just collecting dust on our bookshelves. The book on your shelf may inspire this next kid. This is one way that will strike up and could help out future college students develop their knowledge.”

One of the best things donors can do to increase their own knowledge and skill set is to give back that knowledge that will teach them an important set of lessons. As UT students, we should be a part of the solution to promoting reading for younger children and providing books for the underprivileged. 

Saifullah is a neuroscience sophomore from Richardson. Follow Saifullah on Twitter @coolstorysunao.