PV Seniors Launch Book Donation Program to Help Philadelphia Families and Schools

In December of 2020, a group of students from Mr. Heidt’s Innovation Lab launched Turning Pages, an organization that collects books and works to distribute them to those in need in the greater Philadelphia area.

Turning Pages works in tandem with PhillyREADS to distribute books to those who do not have access to the same resources as other students. Since officially beginning collection in February 2021, Turning Pages has already accumulated around 200 books. 

“Our goal of 1,000 books is just a starting point. We hope to collect as many as possible so we can donate as many books as possible,” Carolyn Rentz, the Inventory and Quality Control Manager for the charity and PV senior, said. 

Along with Rentz, members include Ashley Bolan (Executive Project Manager), Brianna Reim (Creative Content Specialist of Social Media), and Jane Huston (Event Coordinator/Leader in Connections). 

“Turning Pages was formed not through an idea to redistribute books, but a realization that there are some who do not have the access to the resources that other students have. The most important resources a student can have are books. Actually sitting down with a physical book encourages a student to dive into their imaginations and fosters physiological and mental growth,” Bolan says.

As of right now, the team is working on the logistics of hosting book drives at various locations to garner more support and donations.

“Recently, we have acquired a partnership with the Collegeville Italian Bakery to host a drive that is coming soon. We also are hosting a drive through Fairview Village Church and Family and Friends Daycare,” Rentz said. 

After collecting books, Turning Pages works with PhillyREADS, who serves the Philadelphia community by providing books to children, families, and schools. Bolan, Rentz, Reim, and Huston were inspired to start Turning Pages because many people in Philadelphia and inner-city schools face inequity in resources. According to the Save the Children organization, more than 60% of low-income families in the U.S. can’t afford to have books in their homes. 

“Let’s face it, we all have books around our house that are just collecting dust. Our mission is to provide a way to sustainably help end the inequality of education. Turning Pages is extremely important to shed light on this issue and get the community involved in fighting this issue,” the team says. 

Turning pages currently aims to collect 1,000 books as a starting point, and hope to partner with other organizations along the way, like The Village Norristown, which is an “educational center with the aim of equipping the people/children of Norristown with the tools to build a better life,” says Bolan. 

The group hopes to get as many PV students involved in their project by donating to their collection box located in Mr. Heidt’s room (121). They are seeking donations of books for people from the age ranges of 1-20 years old, but they will accept anything. Turning Pages is also more than willing to work with other PV clubs and organizations to increase donations and help more people. 

“With your help, we can make a difference in our community,” Rentz says. 

You can follow Turning Pages on Instagram @turning.pages2020 and donate books to the collection box in Room 121 at the high school. If you have any more questions or comments for Turning Pages, please reach out to turningpagesest.2020@gmail.com