After a busy week at Sovereign Global, CEO John Dragotta and several employees headed over to the Gold Ballroom at the Pennsylvania Hotel to help with Project Cicero, a book drive benefiting under-resourced New York City school libraries. As the elevator doors opened, the group was greeted by a hallway lined with high stacks of cardboard boxes packed with thousands of donated books.
Unfortunately, many NYC schools lack the funding to maintain a functional library and provide their students with the resources and text materials necessary to learn. This is where fellow New Yorkers come in. The gently used books came from local public libraries, private schools and anybody else who was willing to part with neglected books from their home, or they were bought directly from Project Cicero's Amazon wishlist. These books were to be sorted and categorized, all in preparation for pick-up by Teach for America teachers in the New York City area. For many of these children, the books distributed by Project Cicero will be the first they ever take home.
The volunteers who gathered to organize the books were of all ages and backgrounds. Librarians and teacher volunteers aided in distinguishing the categories of the various books. Those who could lift the heavy boxes of books served an important role, because many of the volunteers were school age - that's where SGA employees came in.
Working side-by-side with different members of the community to accomplish the task was something to be proud of. The efforts of the various volunteers, and the committee members with the foresight to recognize, problem-solve, and execute such a successful book drive is what Project Cicero seemed to accomplish.
This past year, its twelfth year of operation, Project Cicero distributed more than 150,000 books. To date, Project Cicero has placed 1,800,000 million books into more than 10,000 classrooms and school libraries, reaching an estimated 400,000 children in under-resourced schools in NYC. To find out more about Project Cicero, please visit: www.projectcicero.org