Corinth Student Collects Hundreds of Books for Local Organization

Corinth Student Collects Hundreds of Books for Local Organization
Shawnee Mission School District

Elliott Odle was in the sixth grade at Corinth Elementary School, when her passion for reading inspired her to organize a book drive with the nonprofit organization “Lead to Read KC.”

Odle, now in seventh grade at Indian Hills, planned the book drive during her “Genius Hour” class period. This class requires every student to find one way they could improve their community, like, tutoring, fundraising, or other volunteer opportunities. Odle chose to partner with the “Lead to Read” program to share her love of reading with others in the Kansas City area.

“We had an hour each Friday, to come up with a way to better our community,” explained Odle. “We could be teaching someone how to play a sport or have a little bake sale to raise money for something, I just wanted to do something that felt like me,” Odle said, “I decided I should do one about books and reading because that is something I love to do.”

The “Lead to Read” program's mission is to promote literacy proficiency in young elementary students. Currently, only 21% of third graders are proficient in reading. “Lead to Read” pairs volunteers with students who need additional literacy support outside of the classroom. The volunteers spend an hour of their week helping students learn how to read. 

“Working with Elliott was a unique situation, in that Elliott learned about our mission and decided to take action to support our work,” Linda Hughes, the Community Outreach Manager for the program said, “We've had similar partnerships with high school students, but this was our first time working with an elementary student interested in providing books for our program.”

The book drive was held for a week, and students and families dropped off books or monetary donations. Odle advertised her project using social media, expanding her audience beyond the school. She ended up collecting a total of 322 new and used books for the organization, supporting education and, in turn, the future of the community.