Social Work Students Organize Book Drive for Chief Leschi Schools

Have you noticed any colorful box­es around campus, specifically in the Cherry Parkes (CP), Garretson Wood­ruff and Pratt (GWP), West Coast Gro­cery (WCG), and Russell T. Joy buildings as well as in the Student Social Work Organization (SSWO) office? If you have, did you ever wonder why those boxes have been there since the begin­ning of May?

You can donate any kind of book you’d like, ranging from fantasy to non­fiction to romance, even your dusty old textbook from last year.

So far, SSWO has done many differ­ent services for disadvantaged youth, poor income families, etc. and as SS­WO’s President Roxanne dePeralta adds, they “wanted to help a population they hadn’t helped yet, and the native Puyal­lup Indians were a perfect group.”

These boxes will be awaiting your donations, just as long as the books are donated by May 22, the final day of the book drive.

These books are for the benefit of the children, teens, and young adults who attend the Puyallup Tribe’s Chief Leschi School, one of the largest Bureau of Indian Education schools in the na­tion funded by the Federal Bureau of Indian Education as well as by Wash­ington State.

SSWO, the host of the event, will collect the books and give them to the students of the school who are a part of low-income families that can’t afford books.

The group is working with one of the librarians at Chief Leschi, who will take all the donations to the kids and allow them to take home whichever books they like.

They hope that these books will help the five to 18-year-old students.

The Chief Leschi School’s primary goal is to serve the educational needs of all Native Americans. The school’s population primarily consists of stu­dents within the Puyallup culture from 60 different tribes in the area. Everything about the school has been designed to honor the culture, ranging from teach­ing students their native Indian language to participating in their cultural dances.

With no more than 900 students in total, over half of the students there can’t afford the things we take for granted.

That’s exactly why SSWO has chosen to help them.

dePeralta says they chose to help Chief Leschi because “they have tons of disadvantaged youth, most which are poor, and if we can come together as a community to help them out it would be amazing.”

She believes that these books will help the families be engaged and learn something, since “it’s more productive for them to read than watch TV.”

Donations are open until May 22, so donate a book today.

PHOTO BY MOLLY REETZ