All of Cherokee Elementary’s 455 students will be taking home at least one book to read over the summer.
That’s thanks to a book drive spearheaded by SoGiv, a nonprofit that sells footwear and apparel and donates a portion of the proceeds to different worthy causes each month.
“SoGiv a Book: Book Drive and Concert” will take place during the South Main Art Trolley Tour this Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at K’PreSha Boutique (323 South Main).
“We’re looking out for the kids,” said Edward Bogard, founder of SoGiv. “We noticed that they get into a lot of trouble over the summer [because of idle time], and that was basically the motivation behind the drive. If we could put a book in every child’s hand for the summer, that would be a successful goal for us to achieve.”
People are encouraged to drop off new and used children’s book donations at K’Presha Boutique, Grawmeyer’s Restaurant, Sachë, Klein Fitness, and Cherokee Elementary.
Nikita Reed, principal of Cherokee Elementary, said literacy is one of the school’s deficiencies, and she hopes the book drive will help tackle that problem.
“We’re working to embrace literacy and let it be our focus,” Reed said. “The book drive will give our boys and girls something to read in the summertime and help improve their reading skills.”
The book drive will not only benefit the students at Cherokee, but also clients of the Union Missions homeless shelter.
“A lot of people are trying to get back on their feet,” said Dior Bailey, director of marketing and operations for SoGiv. “They’re homeless, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want something to read. They can still educate themselves while they’re trying to get back on their feet.”
A free concert will follow the book drive featuring a diverse lineup of local artist in genres ranging from alternative rock to neo-soul to hip-hop. Original artwork inspired by the book drive will be on display during the event as well.
“We want people to understand the significance behind giving back to the youth because they’re the future,” Bogard said. “Cherokee is only one school, but we’ve got to start somewhere. Hopefully by next year, we’ll have even more schools under our belt that we can do more things for.”