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Turn the Page: High School sophomore collects & donates 3,400 to Books Between Kids

KHOU 11 is working to collect 50,000 books to help Books Between Kids, a non-profit organization that works to put books in the hands of Houston’s at-risk children.

HOUSTON — KHOU 11 is working to collect 50,000 new or gently used books to donate to Books Between Kids as part of our ‘Turn the Page’ literacy initiative.

Donation drop-off sites are scattered across the Greater Houston area, from Cleveland to League City, Katy to Humble.

Click here for more information on the Turn The Page Book Drive.

Isabelle Pesikoff, a high school sophomore, donated 3,400 books to Books Between Kids after learning of the non-profit organization’s mission. 

“A phenomenal organization that has been working to improve access to books for children in low-income communities,” said Pesikoff during a Zoom interview in between classes at St. John’s School in Houston.

In 2012, Books Between Kids began working to put books into the hands of at-risk youth whose families cannot afford to buy their children books of their own.

Credit: KHOU 11

“I have always been raised with the value of tikkun olam,” said 16-year-old Pesikoff. 

Tikkun olam is a Hebrew phrase that she said means, “repairing the world.”

Research shows children with books in their homes are more likely to complete basic education. The high school student added that books can provide, “a great escape, either from what’s happening around you or it can be educational in many cases.”

In July 2021 and then again in February 2022 Pesikoff posted flyers on social media and connected with neighbors. She ended up collecting 3,400 books.

"I posted flyers on social media and reached out to these people in my community and the total ended up being 3,400 books," she said

Students at Shadydale Elementary School in northeast Houston are following in Pesikoff’s footsteps. Students and teachers just donated about 500 gently used children’s books. The donations filled seven boxes for KHOU 11’s ‘Turn the Page’ campaign.

“It was great to see, because younger kids were excited to give books. They realized, oh maybe someone else can love my favorite book, or something.”

KHOU 11 is hoping to collect 50,000 books by Friday, April 22. Isabelle Pesikoff reminds us of what can happen when our community cleans out its shelves and gives what it can.

“It’s just a matter of being grateful for what you have and trying to give back to others.”

How to donate:

Drop off new or gently used books at our following sponsor and community partner locations:

Click here to make a monetary donation.

Virtual telethon:

On Thursday, April 21 from 3 – 7 p.m., we will host a virtual telethon to help us reach our goal of 50,000 books. Call 713-654-111 on the day of the telethon to make your donation.

Bedtime stories for the family

Gather the family for bedtime stories every weeknight between 7 p.m. until April 22.

Our KHOU 11 anchors will take the kiddos on an exciting adventure by reading a different book each night. You’ll see the book readings pop up on the KHOU 11 Facebook page, YouTube, and our streaming app on Roku and FireTV.

Sponsors and community partners:

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