Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU students help kids develop a love for reading

April 29, 2022

Two ISU students have been distributing free books to local school children.

Isabella Katz, a junior Chemistry and Legal Studies major, and Paul Wells, an MBA student, created Bountiful Books, a program aiming to encourage reading among elementary school kids. The program recently hosted book fairs and more than 1,600 books were given to students in grades Pre K-5 at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, Sugar Creek Consolidated Elementary School, Farrington Grove Elementary School, and Sugar Grove Elementary School.

"We find reading as a gateway to more paths of understanding and accelerating students' knowledge and comprehension," Katz said. "We feel that continued encouragement to read can help propel any student to reach higher goals."

"Bountiful Books is modeled as a book fair that encourages students to have a choice in what they are reading within their appropriate reading level and content matter which has been shown to encourage reading further."

The books are donated by Half Price Books. Katz and Wells work with four stores in Indianapolis. They go to each store once a month to collect the book donations and sort them before distributing them at the schools.

During the pandemic, Katz and Wells read stories virtually and sent those videos to teachers in Vigo County. They saw the need for this type of program and the potential of Bountiful Books in that effort.