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Student Collects 1,831 Books for Akron Children’s Hospital

 What started out as a small book drive turned into an overwhelming response from the Jackson-Milton Schools community.


MacKenzie Grope, a senior at Jackson-Milton High School, started a book drive as part of a community service project for Teen Outreach at Akron Children’s Hospital. Grope asked Jackson-Milton Schools if she could collect new or gently used books throughout the district, and the district happily told her she could. Grope thought she’d only get a few hundred books, but ended up receiving 1,831 books!


“A lot of families were bringing in hundreds of books,” said MacKenzie Grope, a JM High School Senior. “ We only have about 700 kids in our school, K-12, so most kids brought in more than one per person.”


Grope’s book drive was for three weeks, and she also collected books at the the district’s Trick or Treat Night.  

On November 14, 2018, she dropped off boxes of book donations to Akron Children’s Hospital’s Beeghly Campus. Grope is part of Teen Outreach at ACH, which is a group of high school juniors and seniors from 12 area schools who give community service to ACH. Grope’s book drive will benefit ACH’s Reach Out and Read Literacy Program, which is in 23 sites in the Mahoning Valley.


“So in all the waiting areas we will distribute these gently used books, and for families it will just reinforce that importance of bonding with a book,” said Francine McBride, Program Education Coordinator, Community Outreach, Akron Children’s Hospital.


New books will be given to children who are patients staying in the hospital. There will also be a note in the book that it was donated through Grope’s book drive.


“It reaches down in your heart, makes you feel really good and proud of her, and her family and what they’ve accomplished,” said Kirk Baker, Superintendent, Jackson-Milton Local Schools.


“It just a wonderful tribute to our teens, we hear so much negativity in the world, and there are so many good teens in this community doing positive work,” said McBride.