What’s Right: Bellaire teen encourages reading by sharing

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by Sherry Willams / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 28 at 2:16 PM

BELLAIRE, Texas—A 17-year-old Bellaire teen has learned a lot from books. Not from reading them, but from giving them away.

”I’ve donated about 60, 000 books,” said Sam Collins, the founder, CEO and one-man staff of the non-profit R.E.A.D. for Houston. For three years he has gathered and donated books. He inspects them, cleans them, sorts them, then passes them on to local children. Children he hopes will develop a love of reading.

”From reading you can read, write, there’s many other things,” Collins said.

”Maybe if you teach one child to enjoy reading, you’re also changing the culture of the family because the whole goal is for the kid to take the book home,” said Collins’ mother Riva.

Sam thrives on the reactions he gets from the children to whom he gives books.

He has even donated books to private Robert Beren Academy, where he is a senior.

”What Sam’s done is incredible,” said Rabbi Ari Kellerman of Beren Academy. “He’s been rallying his friends and teachers to be part of it, which is awesome when you can be the kind of person to make the people around you great also.”

Sam’s desire to inspire reading may be rooted in his own history with books.

”When I was younger I had trouble reading so I had help and then it just clicked,” he said.

He has received recognition from the governor and from national and local organizations.

Next year he leaves for college but his younger brother Jeffrey is willing to take up the cause. In fact he said he may accomplish even more than his older brother did.

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