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EDHS Grade 11 Leadership Class collects over 5200 books for organizations


by Sylene Argent

This time every year, the students involved with Essex District High School’s Grade 11 Leadership Class take on a service project that will benefit the community in some way.

  This year’s class embarked on a mission to collect as many gently used books as they could to donate to 18 organizations who need them.

  Leadership students Julie Boese and Alexandria Couvillon spoke of the collection on behalf of their class.

  “We wanted to give back something for Christmas, so we decided, hey let’s do a book drive,” Couvillon said of how the project idea originated. The original idea was her teacher’s, and the students came up with a variety of creative plans to get in as may books as they could from their school-wide peers, including hosting a contest between classes.

  She was shocked with the number of books they were able to collect in a fairly short amount of time. Students started bringing in donations on the first day of collection, which she was pleased to witness.

  Because the different organizations focus on different ages and needs, the students were sure to collect a variety of reading material, including magazines, French language books, and children’s books.

  “The places we are bringing them to are definitely places in need,” Couvillon said. “For them to have those books that they never had before, it is really good, especially around the holidays.”  

  Boese added, “It is great to see other people in our community benefiting from our school giving back to them. It is a good feeling.”

  Boese added she, along with fellow Red Raiders, feel for others in need and wants to see other people do well. “We want to make a change in the community in any way we can.”

  The book drive was successful, and those who gave were very generous. Couvillon figures that generosity was rooted in the fact those who forwarded books knew they were going to benefit great local organizations who could use them.

   Grade 11 Leadership teacher, Sarina Scalia, said she was very proud of her class of nearly 30 students and all of the books they have been able to collect. 

  She noted her students had undertaken every precaution for Covid protocols, with classes leaving the boxes of donated literature outside of their rooms for her students to collect, wearing gloves. Every book was also sanitized and categorized.

  “Essex really made a difference to over 18 non-profit organizations around the county,” Scalia said.

  Boese and Couvillon enjoy helping others and hope to one day continue to be able to do so as a nurse and doctor, respectively.

  A few years back, the Leadership Class hosted a purse drive, which forwarded the donations to a variety of non-profit organizations. Last year, the students painted the rocks that were placed at the base of the Essex Centre Cenotaph for Remembrance Day.