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Local students helping to address book deserts

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- There are food deserts – places that lack access to fresh options for food.

There are also book deserts – places where access to books is lacking.

Grimsley High School students are hoping to fill a gap when it comes helping kids in need.

“[For] many families their first priority is food and shelter, and books aren’t even on the radar,” student Emma Winstead said.

As part of a service project, AP English students have built depositories for their classmates to donate books.

The books will then go to a local elementary school to help students who may face challenges preventing them from accessing books leisurely.

Since November, the students have researched book deserts to have a better understanding of what they are and practical solutions to address the problem.

They worked on the budget for materials and the design of the depositories.

Students also shared proposals for the design of the bookshelves that would be placed at partnering elementary schools.

“It feels like all the work that we started since day one is finally coming together,” student Ahmed Wahab said.

A few weeks ago, the students donated books and a tree-shaped bookshelf to Brooks Global Elementary School.

“Something that we wanted to represent with the tree design was growth. The easier books are at the bottom and they get harder as they go up,” student Morgan Howland said.

Grant money and community support helped provide books and materials for the project.

Grimsley hopes to partner with Jones Elementary School, Morehead Elementary School and Gillespie Park Elementary School in the future.

It’s estimated 70 to 100 books will be donated to each school.

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