Charlotte-area students Emma Baccellieri, Nupur Charyalu, Courtney Elliott, Allie Halter, Anne Gardner, Madeline Gasior, Madeline Huff, Sarah Hugh, Jackson Jones, Sara Kifle, Gracie Ghartey-Tagoe, Pooja Iyer, Zach Montgomery, Ali Ozmeral, Mitchell Sharp, Yoonha Shim, Mary Alex Staude, Sanjana Vattigunta, Madison Walls, Jeremy Williams, Justin Williams, Ally Wolf and Sarah Wyczawski are volunteering to help bring the gift of reading to disadvantaged children.
The students are summer interns with Charlotte-area nonprofit Promising Pages, which distributes gently used and new books to children. An estimated 60,000 children in Charlotte have few or no books at home. These young achievers have collected, sorted, stamped and wrapped thousands of books that are going back out to kids in our community, said Kristina Cruise, founder and executive director of Promising Pages. She said the interns had logged more than 600 service hours in the program as of July 24. Each was asked to attend at least 12 of the 50 summer events, and many have attended 20 or more, she said.
Cruise gave special thanks to brothers Justin and Jeremy Williams of Olympic High for their exceptional work and attitude. They are there for moving boxes, sorting books -- anything you need. They do the stuff that isnt necessarily fun to do but needs to get done. They are at the warehouse nearly every shift and have made considerable headway sorting our thousands of incoming books.
Cruise said their help has been so instrumental that next year, Promising Pages plans an intern program for high-schoolers for the spring and summer. It also will expand the summer program to include 40-60 volunteers. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or to apply for future programs.)