It just takes one - one person, one book or one school. Last year, area schools stepped up and donated more than 7,500 books to Books for Kids. From large high schools such as Lockport High School to city schools such as Nardin Academy and to small schools such as St. John de LaSalle in Niagara Falls, each school last year made a difference.

We need your help again, and it's as easy as donating one new book. This annual collection effort across Western New York collects new children's books and distributes them to needy children in our region who would not otherwise have a chance to own a book of their own. Organizations that serve disadvantaged children are eligible to receive books from Books for Kids.

The book drive runs through the month of April; however, with many schools being on break for many days in April, the school book drive is being extended until mid-May.

Books for Kids has distributed more than 2 million books to needy children since it was established in 1995. In 2011 alone, more than 125,000 books were distributed. Books for Kids is sponsored by The Buffalo News, Project Flight, WGRZ-TV Channel 2 and Wegmans.

Now in my second year as high school coordinator, I have seen firsthand the importance of getting books into the homes of children who need them most. I was overwhelmed by the response from area schools last year -- nearly 20 schools collected thousands of books. It was our most successful high school drive ever.

If your high school or middle school is interested in being part of a great community service project, then contact me at We have all the posters and flyers you need to advertise the drive to your school community. All it requires is a collection box at your school and an enthusiastic coordinator to get the word out.

Remember it just takes one -- one person, one book or one school to make a powerful difference in our community. Be that one!


Gabrielle Jehle is a senior at Nardin Academy.