If one entered Tokeneke Elementary School during the month of February, one would have noticed signs around the school promoting a book drive organized by the Tokeneke Student Council to benefit local non-profit Darien Book Aid.

Darien Book Aid distributes free books to Peace Corps volunteers and literacy programs around the globe as well as to underserved schools and other programs in the United States.

Thanks to the students and families of Tokeneke School, the book drive was a huge success and yielded a record-number 5,836 gently-used books for the non-profit.

Some of these books are already on their way around the world. Many of them will end up in the hands of children who have never had access to a book appropriate for their reading level.

It is a win-win for Tokeneke families, who had books on their shelves they were ready to pass on, and students around the world, who might struggle to become readers without these books.

To publicize the book drive, the Tokeneke School Student Council promoted the book collection at their regular assembly, posted flyers throughout the school, and sent promotional flyers home with all children. Teachers Adam Hamor and Rebecca Parnoff provided guidance. The students involved recognize that the success of the book drive would have never been possible without the help and generous donations of the Tokeneke teachers, students and families. Darien Book Aid volunteer, Anne Johnston, helped to spearhead the project.

Darien Book Aid, founded in 1949, is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that promotes literacy and education worldwide. Volunteers hand-select books to fulfill detailed book requests from around the world.

While Darien Book Aid relies on receiving gently-used books from the community, particularly children's books, it is currently not accepting book donations due to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19. The non-profit requests that book donors hold onto their books for now and donate them once it reopens later this spring.