NIKISKI, Alaska — A group of Nikiski High School students is spearheading an effort to get more books into the hands of Kenai Peninsula middle school students.

The club, called T-books, works to raise money and purchase reading materials for middle schoolers and then personally drop them at schools in the area, The Peninsula Clarion reported (http://bit.ly/2byLIF7 ).

“Books are a form of comfort therapy and it’s really good for kids to have something like that or something that they care about,” said senior Savannah Rizzo, who founded the club. “I love reading and I want to give others the opportunity to read if they can’t get the opportunity to themselves.”

The club has been operating for three years but this year they expanded to the Hope School at the edge of the Kenai Peninsula. Previously, books only went to students in Nikiski, Kenai and Soldotna. The books don’t go to school libraries and instead become personal property for the students, which Rizzo said gives students a chance to become proud of their own personal libraries.

The group first visits schools and asks the students what books they want. Not every request is met, but the group tries to at least find similar stories. The books are then purchased in bulk from online warehouses, where entire pallets can cost only $600.

Rizzo said she chose to target middle schoolers because they are at the age where a love of books can really take hold.

The group has raised nearly $3,000 so far and hopes to continue the tradition after Rizzo graduates.

“It is a great feeling,” said group member Sarah Nash. “We can see how happy they are to get the books.The smell of the book is just wonderful.”


Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, http://www.peninsulaclarion.com