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Brookline Literacy Club gives back to community by donating books

Members of the Brookline Literacy Club advocate for new students to join their club at the club fair. PROVIDED BY BECKY MASON

Young students at the Timilty School burst with happiness as they see their brand new book room. Before, these students didn’t even have classroom libraries, let alone a book room filled with thousands of books. This is all thanks to the students in the Brookline Literacy Partnership.

The Brookline Literacy Partnership Club raises and donates thousands of dollars and books for schools in Dorchester and Roxbury, also doing free tutoring with multiple other schools. The goal of the club is to help young students improve their literacy.

The Brookline Literacy Partnership is partnered with the Mather School in Dorchester, the Timilty school in Roxbury and the Lincoln school in Brookline. The club works with these schools in different ways to help improve the literacy of students.

“We have book drives in various places, sometimes with an elementary school. We ask people to donate books and drop them off here.” Librarian and Club adviser Bridget Knightly said. “We give them to some elementary schools in Boston or middle schools because they don’t have libraries at all.”

Librarian and club adviser Bridget Knightly says that the quality of the books is an important factor in deciding which ones they choose to donate.

“The Timilty School in Roxbury didn’t have a book room at all, so we collected 4,000 books,” Knightly said. “And we’re careful, we give them nice books not heavily used books or yellow books. We sort those out and recycle them. We opened up a library with about 3,000 books.”

The club also hosts student-run fundraisers, where they work to collect money for their partnered schools, according to senior and club president Becky Mason.

Last year we did some concerts, bake sales, and this year we’re hoping to do a really nice big concert,” Mason said. “We’re thinking of doing classical music, so we have a classical pianist and someone who plays the cello and someone who sings opera. It’s more of a high scale, away from the high school type of concert.”

The Brookline Literacy Partnership also helps with other aspects of learning and schoolwork.

“Every Monday we go to the Mather School in Dorchester and I take students from the high school to tutor,” Knightly said. “We tutor at the Lincoln school in Brookline with the Steps to Success students. So there’s a tutoring program after school there as well.”

Tutor leader Rossella Gargiulo, a sophomore, has learned from her experience as a tutor that sometimes shy students simply need a push to come out of their shell.

“I remember this one time where there was this really timid kid who just was reading in the corner by himself and I came up to him and we started reading and all of a sudden he had this amazing personality” Gargiulo said. “He was talking about how he did plays and when he read books to me he acted them out. The kid was really happy and he was so joyful while reading the book and he was probably one of the most memorable kids I’ve tutored.”


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