FBLA book drive brings books to NJ readers

March 6, 2024

By Emma Bannon

LHS’ Future Business Leaders of America Club brought awareness to the importance of reading through a book drive hosted from Jan. 29-Feb. 7.

Half of the books the FBLA collected were donated to Bridge of Books, a nonprofit organization in Red Bank and Rumson, New Jersey that provides books to underserved communities. The other half of the books were placed in FBLA’s book box, which is located outside LHS’ student entrance.

Sophomore Joely Ferreras, who serves as a delegate of FBLA, helped plan the book drive with her fellow officers. This involved creating posters and spreading information about the book drive. 

“My peers and I [wanted] to raise awareness, expand the access of books and encourage community involvement,” Ferreras said. 

She said the event reminded students of the importance of reading and benefited the members of FBLA. 

“We used [the Book Drive] to accumulate more community service opportunities for our members, while also helping people who are less fortunate than us,” Ferreras said. 

FBLA members who brought in four or more books received one service point for FBLA, which they put toward the three points they were required to attain to attend the State Leadership Conference, which will be held from March 11-13 in Atlantic City.

FBLA co-advisor Mrs. Silvelo said she is proud of the initiative her students took in organizing the book drive and the success of the event. 

“Currently sought-after books were donated,” Silvelo said. “[We] surprisingly got a lot of new books currently in top seller lists.” 

The club has overseen similar projects in the past, and Silvelo said literacy is a cause that is important to the Lyndhurst FBLA chapter. 

“Our executive team had the idea [last year] of creating a book box as FBLA had taken the initiative to create a yearly [book drive] challenge,” Silvelo said. 

Silvelo said book drives are important because they cultivate a love of reading among those who are not in a financial position to purchase new books. 

“My peers and I [wanted] to raise awareness, expand the access of books and encourage community involvement.”

Media specialist Ms. Murru said hosting book drives helps foster a love for reading and learning. 

“One reason that I have always loved reading is because it [exposes] you to different walks of life and different vocabulary,” Murru said. “Having access to these titles opens up a whole new world for students and their families…. You cannot assume that every family has access to the socioeconomic resources others have.” 

Murru said book drives are especially helpful in underprivileged school systems. 

“[Book drives] offer students and educators that are not in communities with enough resources or funding the opportunity to build their own library collections,” Murru said.   

She said she is happy to see students using the resources in LHS’ library and demonstrating an interest in reading.

“[W]e are very privileged in that we have access to the media center in the school, a public library a few blocks away and classrooms with books,” Murru said.

Freshman George Shekiladze, a member of FBLA, said he is glad FBLA placed some of the books it collected into its book box.  

“I saw a book in the box outside of the school I knew my sister would like and got it for her,” Shekiladze said. “There are so many good books in the box that people are missing out on.” 

Shekiladze said events such as the book drive are important for the community. 

“The book drive gives people the opportunity to read something new free of charge…. Lyndhurst should try to do more things like this,” said Shekiladze.

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