Seeing a small prison library with a shortage of books during a tour of a correctional facility last year inspired Grambling State University’s Psychology and Sociology Club members to organize a book drive last spring that raised 225 books for the inmates at Richwood Correctional Center in Monroe, LA.
“We are trying to provide prisoners with books to enhance their reading skills, because you never know whose life you can change through a book,” said Jack Chandler, president of the Psychology and Sociology Club. “We believe reading is fundamental and empowering. Being confined to prison walls everyday is not really living, so a book can help you escape your reality, even if it is momentary.”
Now the Psychology and Sociology Club is beginning a second book drive to collect books for another prison library, either Caddo Correctional Center in Shreveport or Louisiana State Penitentiary, and challenging other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to do the same.
“We are now calling it the HBCU Challenge and expanding it to a number of other HBCUs,” said Matt Sheptoski, assistant professor of sociology and club adviser. “We ask that other schools adopt a prison and that clubs, primarily psychology and/or sociology clubs, collect books, and we will count them up and see who wins the friendly competition.”
Sheptoski is hoping at least five other HBCUs will participate in the book drive that runs Oct. 1-31. A donation box will be located in the Psychology Department in Woodson Hall 104. Other donation boxes will be located throughout campus. If you have a large amount of books to donate, you may contact the Psychology and Sociology Club to pick them up. For more information, please contact Chandler at 318-820-0655 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: GSU Media Relations Office