Imagine a world without books. Where a child grows up without the chance to experience the dreams and nightmares of novels. Where one cannot be transported into another world through a single piece of literature. Where one is not given the chance to “be a resident of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, hunt the white whale aboard the Pequod, fight alongside Napoleon, sail a raft with Huckleberry and Jim, commit absurdities with Ignatius J. Reilly, ride a sad train with Anna Karenina, or stroll down Swann’s Way.” This is the type of world that Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School is trying to combat as many teachers and students donate to the RFH book drive, run by the school’s Media Specialist, Mrs. Murray from March 1st to May 15th.
The book drive has been an annual RFH fundraiser for the past forty years. It was originally proposed by Mrs. Murray at RFH and is currently sponsored by the library. She understood the need for all children to read and that some young people are not given this opportunity. For the past three years, the books collected have been donated to Bridge of Books. This non-profit organization’s purpose is “to provide an ongoing source of gently used and new books to underprivileged and at-risk children throughout New Jersey in order to support literacy skills and to encourage a love of reading.”
From there the books are donated to less fortunate elementary schools and day care centers throughout New Jersey. Other common places of donation include the Boys and Girls Club and Read Across America, an annual reading and motivation awareness program that has a national celebration annually on March 2nd for Dr. Seuss’s birthday. So far, the event has collected approximately 2500 books, and Mrs. Murray is hoping for many more by May 15th.
The library is an integral part of the RFH community as it allows a quiet place for students to read and study throughout the day. It also houses a library club that is run by Mrs. Murray and includes 10 active members. The club is different each year and includes events ranging from discussions about many pieces of literature to pajama parties with elementary school children. This year the club is focused on books since many members are avid readers.
However, the club’s overall purpose is to foster reading and also allow a social, fun, and philanthropic environment. The club tries to sponsor one big event throughout the year, and this year, it was the Hunger Games Event, which drew over forty RFH students and many teachers to participate. This high school would not be the same without the hard work of librarians like Mrs. Murray.
For more information on this charitable event or the library club, please contact Mrs. Murray in the lower library or go to rfhrhs.org. To learn more about Read Across America and Bridge of Books, go to readacrossamerica.org and bridgeofbooksfoundation.org. So, now, readers and humanitarians, go and take part in this interesting club and important community book drive!