In an effort to reach out to the community, specifically Deweyville Elementary, the Criminal Justice Society of Lamar State College – Orange formed a book drive to assist in rebuilding the inventory of the school’s library.

The idea for the book drive came about when Shana Sellers, LSC-O Program Director for Criminal Justice, discovered that the majority of relief efforts were going to areas other than the library at Deweyville Elementary. CJS believes that “reading is essentially everything and is extremely important in the development for the younger child,” stated Sellers. “We wanted to dedicate our efforts to helping library and building back its collection of books.”

CJS students created boxes that were placed around campus and the community and posted the book drive information on Facebook. Through these avenues the organization received donations locally and from several far-reaching states including New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Louisiana. The books, totaling 3669, were delivered by the Criminal Justice students to Deweyville High School.

Librarians at Deweyville ISD will be spending the summer cataloging each book and preparing them for the shelves in the elementary library. Tremendously grateful for the delivery, when the librarians were asked if LSC-O could assist in any other way, they replied, “shelves to place the books!” The destruction of the flood obviously meant a loss of furnishings. Should anyone have the ability to build or the means in which to help the school in replacing books shelves, the librarians would be enormously grateful.

The Criminal Justice Society was this year’s recipient of the LSC-O Student Organization Community Service Award. Their hard work with events such as the book drive gives the perfect example of why these students were chosen to receive the award. “I am in awe of these student’s generosity, enthusiasm and dedication to helping others, their community and school,” stated Sellers.

Their efforts also included encouragement of other organizations to join in helping the library. Other schools collected books as well as the Lions Club of Orange presenting $2,000 to the elementary library.