(part of a monthly series)
How did you first hear or learn about Books for Keeps?
I first heard about Books for Keeps in 2016 when former UGA wide receiver and alumnus Malcolm Mitchell spoke at a University of Georgia development meeting about his children’s book, The Magician’s Hat, and his partnership with Books for Keeps to provide a copy to every first-grade student in the Clarke County School District. BFK’s mission to provide underserved schools with books for kids immediately piqued my interest and I was excited to learn that that BFK’s founder, Melany Smith, also worked at UGA.
How long have you been volunteering or serving with Books for Keeps?
I’m a newbie! Former BFK member and friend, Jamie Cumbie, thought I would enjoy the opportunity to give back to the community through this organization as much as she did and threw my name in the hat as a nominee for the board, which I enthusiastically pursued. I was fortunate enough to be accepted and have been serving with Books for Keeps since January 2021.
Why did you choose to serve on the Books for Keeps’ board?
Being a part of the University of Georgia as both a student and employee has afforded me countless opportunities but I wanted to engage more with the greater community. I am an advocate for higher education for all and I think it is critical that kids develop their reading and critical thinking skills as early as possible so that they can be put on a path toward academic success. Books for Keeps helps fill the gap of inequity by providing books for kids who may not otherwise have access to them, which is a mission I am proud to support.
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