OU education majors aim to help grade school students with book collection campaign

Several area schools are getting a helping hand thanks to an initiative spearheaded by two community-minded Oakland University students.

Jon Besedich and Kyle Bonkowski, both majoring in elementary education at OU, recently collected more than 6,000 books from the libraries of three soon-to-be-shuttered schools in Bloomfield Hills. They then held a book sale to raise money for cash-strapped schools in the area. Meanwhile, students in the OU elementary education program were able to buy books at a bargain and get a head start on creating their own classroom libraries.

Proceeds from the book sale were used to purchase notebooks, crayons, markers and glue sticks for schools in need. Besedich and Bonkowski are now seeking additional support from the community so they can follow through on a plan to furnish children in low-income areas with books, backpacks and other supplies. They also are looking to donate 1,500 books to area schools.

“We hope more people hear about us,” Besedich said. “Education is what thrusts children into the future. It’s our job to make sure they can be successful.”

Anyone interested in helping with the project should contact Besedich at jabesedi@oakland.edu.