Book Drive Benefits Two Public Schools

July 20, 2010 5:45 AM

Tammy C. Barney

Amanda Buberger smiles as she leaves her office on the Tulane uptown campus to walk to Benjamin Banneker Elementary School, because she is heading to a date with her “reading buddy,” second-grader Hirannae Hall. It’s a volunteer assignment Buberger really enjoys, but she also supervises the For The Children in-school literacy program — and she is thrilled that the Newcomb Alumnae Association is sponsoring a book drive to benefit young readers like Hirannae.

book drive

Newcomb Gives book donations will benefit students such as Benjamin Banneker Elementary second-grader Hirannae Hall, pictured with her reading buddy, Amanda Buberger, supervisor of the For The Children in-school literacy program. (Photo by Devon Ponoroff)

Buberger is assistant director of campus-community partnerships for the Tulane Center for Public Service, which is working with the alumnae association on the book drive for two public schools in New Orleans, Benjamin Banneker and Sophie B. Wright Charter School.

To help support For The Children’s literacy project, the alumnae association is asking donors to send new and gently used books, educational games and puzzles to the participating schools. The association’s website has information about suggested books and mailing instructions. As the association’s 2010 Newcomb Gives initiative, the book drive ends in October during Homecoming Week.

Since 1994, For The Children has matched Tulane students with elementary, middle and high school students for one-on-one reading sessions, which help raise reading levels and self-esteem. Currently, the program serves 325 students in the fifth through 10th grades at Sophie B. Wright and 400 students in pre-K through 8th grade at Benjamin Banneker. Each week, Tulane students meet with their reading buddies and give them books to take home.

“By donating books to the For The Children program, Newcomb alumnae are furthering the joy and practice of reading within a safe and supportive school-based environment,” says Buberger, a 1999 graduate of Tulane. “Our students also love to take books home, read them before bedtime, share the books with their siblings and come back to discuss the stories with their reading buddies.”

The Newcomb Alumnae Association developed Newcomb Gives as part of its outreach to the New Orleans community after Hurricane Katrina.

Tammy C. Barney is external affairs officer for the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute.

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