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Idaho State University Graduate School Kicks Off Their Fourth Annual Book Drive

September 20, 2023

The Idaho State University Graduate School is hoping to collect 1,000 books by Oct. 31  for local elementary schools at its fourth annual K-4 book drive. 

First organized by Interim Dean Dr. Tracy Collum in 2020, the Idaho State University Graduate School hosted its first K-4 book drive as part of its Grad School Gives initiative in an effort to benefit local elementary schools during the trying times of a global pandemic. With generous community donations, the Graduate School was able to collect 364 books during its first year and has been able to carry that momentum to begin its 4th annual book drive this year, sitting on an overall donation total of over 1,800 books. Last year, they received contributions from more than 60 sources.

The book drive seeks to help local K-4 elementary school libraries reflect the distinctive cultures, perspectives, and traditions present in this community. The Graduate School selects various books, authors, illustrators, and subjects that reflect these standards and registers them for anyone around the country to donate and have the books sent directly to their office. From shorter picture books, such as “The Night Before Eid: A Muslim Family Story” by Aya Khalil and Rashin Kheiriyeh, to chapter books including “Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler” by Ibi Zoboi, they seek to give elementary school students extensive access to stories that will help them feel represented. The wish lists are updated yearly to allow room for newly published books that will continue to plant seeds of creativity, imagination, and appreciation for their classmates’ experiences. 

Ellis Elementary librarian, Irena Naumu, was delighted by this concept upon receiving donations during the 2022 book drive. In an article by Idaho Education News, she said she was thrilled to have several of the books written or translated in Spanish. In the same article, AJ Watson, the director of elementary education for the Pocatello-Chubbuck School District expressed this same concept and his desire to have everyone “feel welcome, empowered, and successful in school.” 

This year the Graduate School is thrilled to be partnering with a new Pocatello business, Hares and Hatter Bookshop, to allow donors to not only support their cause but local commerce as well. To contribute, visit  their wish lists on Amazon or through Hares and Hatters Bookshop to donate or drop off K-4 books of their choice in the Graduate School office on the ISU campus, Museum Building Suite 401. 

The book drive kicks off every fall semester with a donation deadline of Oct. 31, to allow for delivery to schools in November. Visit the graduate school website for more information.


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