Ten thousand books.

That’s the goal of the high school coalition for Books for Kids. Western New York high school students: I need your help to make this a reality. Since 1995, The Buffalo News, in partnership with Project Flight and other community groups, has made a significant impact in our community through the Books for Kids campaign. More than 2.2 million books have been collected and distributed to worthy organizations that serve our area’s youth. The high school coalition, of which I am this year’s coordinator, is one of the important parts of this drive. It is kids helping other kids, making a difference one book at a time. The book drive’s goal is to collect as many books and as much money as possible during the month of March to ensure that all children living in Western New York have access to age-appropriate books and have the opportunity to own a book (something many of us take for granted).

As high school coordinator, my job is to reach out to as many high schools as possible and have them rally around our mission and collect books and donations. Having been raised in a family that makes community service an integral part of who we are and what we do, this role came naturally to me. Also, being a freshman at Nardin Academy allows me to carry on the tradition of the high school coalition since it was started by a Nardin student several years ago along with her brother, a student at Canisius High School. My sister Gabrielle was the high school coordinator in 2011 and 2012, so I realize the importance of the work we are doing.

You can help children in Western New York by making sure your school is involved. The school coalition’s goal is 10,000 books, and the only way to achieve this goal is if all schools get involved. We encourage all schools – elementary, middle and high schools – to get involved. It is as simple as placing a box or bin in your school foyer, hang up fliers to advertise the book drive and encourage participation.

In addition to Nardin, the schools that are committed so far are Lockport High School, Canisius, Williamsville North High School, Williamsville East High School, Clarence High School, Nichols School, East Aurora High School, Sacred Heart Academy, St. Joseph Collegiate Institute, Grand Island High School, Amherst High School, Iroquois High School, Christian Central Academy, Transit Middle School, Buffalo Seminary, St. Gregory the Great School, Gow School, Williamsville South High School and Lancaster High School. If you attend those schools, please bring in one new or very gently used book to the donation box at your school. If you don’t see your school listed and would like to be your school coordinator, it’s not too late. Please contact me at or Megan Dearing at