OCEANSIDE — With the precision of an assembly line and happy hearts, volunteers from the Assistance League North Coast and Guajome Park Academy gathered at the Oceanside Unified School District warehouse to sort and pack up more than 4,000 books to distribute to good readers at eight Oceanside and Vista schools on Jan. 21. The books donated by the Molina Family Foundation will reward students in the I Love to Read program.
A few dozen volunteers helped box fiction, biography and poetry books. “We do this once a year and need all the help we can get,” Kriss Stewart, president of the Assistance League North Coast, said.
Guajome Park Academy high school student Jeff Luerman, 17, and a group of fellow students helped out. Luerman has already put in 50 hours volunteering in the community this year. “I just wanted to get out and help the public,” Luerman said. “It’s nice to be with friends. It’s a social thing.”
Extra hands helped box about 500 books for each school in the I Love to Read program. Schools in the program develop a site-specific program to inspire more reading. Then new books and I Love to Read T-shirts are packed and sent to reward readers who meet their school’s goal.
The day’s volunteer work did not involve one-on-one time with the children who benefit, but other league efforts do. The Assistance League North Coast also supports the Footsteps program that fits low-income youth with new shoes. Other efforts provide children with school uniforms, backpacks and school supplies.
“It’s all about the kids,” Janet Martin, Assistance League North Coast member, said.
The Assistance League North Coast has 75 members who are collectively involved in over a dozen programs that help Oceanside, Vista and Carlsbad youth. “A lot of volunteers are former school teachers,” Martin said. “They all have a lot of love for the kids.”