Organizations strive to promote literacy

The English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, is hosting a Better World Books drive in the campus center from April 1 to May 2. The aim of the book drive is to promote literacy and writing, according to Brigit Stack, ’17, president of the honor society.

Assistant Professor of English Matthew Ferrence, who advises the honor society, said Allegheny has been hosting the book drive since he took over the position five years ago. Stack said it is a common occurrence among the honor society’s chapters.

“All chapters of the English honor society do it across the country,” Stack said.

In the past, Allegheny’s effort to donate books for BWB has been significant compared to other chapters across the nation.

“About three years ago, we were one of the top-20 producing colleges in the nation,” Ferrence said.

That success has continued through last year when, according to Stack, Allegheny’s chapter of the honor society was in the top 25 donors in the nation despite having a student population under 2,000.

The box for collection is set up on the second floor of the campus center near Grounds for Change.

“There will be a box there until May in case some students cannot get any money for their textbooks,” Stack said.

In addition to the BWB drive, the honor society has a host of other events and philanthropic missions. For example, members of the society in the past have gone out into the community to distribute books, and helped local libraries organize for their books sales, according to Ferrence.

Stack said the society, which has about 50 members, also hosts an annual book sale.

“Every spring we do a senior project book sale to sell books that inspired that year’s comps,” Stack said.

At the senior book project sale, the English department buys the books for the seniors and sells them at a fixed rate of five dollars, according to Ferrence.

“We recognize the need to reward student achievements in the department,” Ferrence said.

The honor society has reached out to English teachers from Meadville schools and invited them to attend the senior book sale, which will be held on May 3 in the Tillotson Room of the Tippie Alumni Center at 7 p.m., according to Stack.

“It’s an English honor society, but we see the mission as that to cultivate and create a literary community at the college,” Ferrence said.

“We really want to get interest back into the community,” Stack said.

Also hosting an event aimed toward spreading literacy in the same week was Dumbledore’s Army.

The Accio Book Drive, which gets its name from a spell in the Harry Potter novels, is a nationwide campaign hosted by the Harry Potter Alliance, of which Dumbledore’s Army is a chapter.

Treasurer of Dumbledore’s Army Grace Connolly, ’18, tabled outside of McKinley’s Food Court to collect donations.

“We generally run this campaign each year, where we donate them to local elementary schools,” Connolly said. “We have an emphasis on children’s books. We will accept any adult books because we can trade them in for children’s books.”

The group also accepted monetary donations on behalf of Operation Read, which is the organization that helps host the Accio Book Drive. They tabled from Tuesday, April 4, to Thursday, April 6.