Sophomores sort books, build care packages for class project


Claire Seinsheimer

Over 100 sophomores separated into three service shifts to sort books and care packages.

Sara Doyle and Leila Pulaski

Over 100 sophomores gathered to sort books and to build care packages during their class project on Saturday, Feb. 10.

The day had to be split into three service shifts because of the group’s large size. The first and last shifts focused on sorting and packing books at a warehouse for Books Between Kids, an organization that provides books for underprivileged children and schools around Houston.

“Especially after Harvey, so many kids do not have access to libraries, so it’s great that Books Between Kids is donating books to give these kids more access to resources,” sophomore Helen Lykos said.

Books Between Kids has partnered with the school many times in the past. The organization helps children who are born into poverty gain access to books so they can build their own home libraries.

“When a child owns books of his or her own, he or she reads more and the reading ability increases with that experience,” Bahr said. “Owning books makes a child think, ‘Oh my gosh, this book is really mine; I’m going to read it.’ That’s what makes this project so wonderful. Books Between Kids puts books in the hands of kids who otherwise might not be able to own one.”

While Bahr traditionally selects organizations to work with for the class projects, the second shift’s project, Homeless at Heart, was different. The headmaster of Atlanta’s Lovett School called Headmaster Mark Desjardins to tell him that one of their students was looking to expand Homeless at Heart to Houston. Desjardins suggested that SJS students help with the project, to which Bahr agreed.

Claire Seinsheimer
Sophomores place water bottles in care packages, which were distributed to Star of Hope.

During the second shift of the day, the group gathered in the Chao Room to fill small gift bags with hygiene products, candies and handwritten Valentine’s Day cards that will be sent to Homeless at Heart locations around the country. Around 1000 bags were ready to be distributed to Star of Hope by the end of the day. After they assembled the bags, the sophomores gathered to discuss and reflect on their day over pizza.

“It was so fun working as a team with people from my grade,” sophomore Lindsay Gobillot said. “Getting to know everyone better and knowing what a great cause we were working for was really an amazing experience.”

Bahr says that class projects offer a way for more students to come together and make a real difference.

“When you have many hands doing good work, so much gets done,” Bahr said.