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A community working together as one can truly do incredible things.

Whether it is shoveling snow from a neighbor’s sidewalk or delivering someone’s mail, Buffalonians never fail to help a friend, or stranger, in need. This has been evident year after year in The Buffalo News’ annual Books for Kids drive. For 19 years, the Buffalo community has worked together to not only raise money and collect new books for children, but also to raise awareness of the importance of reading for children. From an early age, reading is an essential element that reflects a child’s life as he grows and prospers. With cooperative sponsors such as The Buffalo News, Project Flight, WGRZ Channel 2 News and Wegmans, this has been made possible. Over the years, Buffalo Books for Kids has collected more than 2 million books for children in need across Western New York.

Do you remember your first book? As a kid, I loved the Junie B. Jones series. The silly childhood novels kept me giggling as my mother read them to me every night before she tucked me in. This memory was all because of one book. Books inspire kids; it is as simple as that. They plant memories into a child’s mind and do wonders for their dreams and imaginations. Children need books, and Books for Kids promises just that: Children in need will graciously receive the books donated by our generous community,.

As the high school coalition leader for the drive, this campaign is incredibly important to me. Showered with books at school and constantly reading for not only English class, but also my Spanish class, skimming pages is a huge part of my life.

Buffalo Books for Kids accepts new books for kids up to the age of 14 in all languages. The drive runs throughout the month of April, and drop-off sites for the new books include Wegmans and Barnes and Noble bookstores. For each high school participating, there will be boxes placed throughout the schools for donations. At the end of the month, each high school can then distribute their collections at the drop-off locations.

Bringing joy to children starts with one book. With the help of the community, we can change the lives of children throughout the area and create lifelong memories and happiness to those who need it the most.

Donate to Books for Kids today and impact the life of a child in need. Your help is greatly appreciated on behalf of the entire campaign.

Katheryn Augustine (pictured in inset) is a junior at Nardin Academy.