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Turner Initiative Brings Over 11,000 Books to Trenton’s Schoolchildren

Trenton – Senator Shirley K. Turner’s Annual Book Fair, held at the Columbus Elementary School, distributed over 11,000 books to nearly 400 students. This initiative has been occurring for five years in various K-12 schools, providing donated books to young learners in and around Trenton.

“In the last few years, we have seen four Trenton public libraries shut their doors, which has led schoolchildren to lose valuable resources for their education,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “These closures opened up an opportunity to start a district wide book drive and book fair providing children with alternative access to free books for summer reading.”

The annual Book Drive was conducted to collect a variety of books from different schools and organizations throughout New Jersey in order to supply the Book Fair. This year, a record 11,000 books were donated, with the biggest donation coming from Mount Olive Elementary School, in Mount Olive, New Jersey. Not only did the school bring in a over 5,000 books, but students from the 7th grade Gifted and Talented program made 600 bookmarks to be given to students picking out books.

“To see such enthusiasm from these young students warms my heart, and is a welcome reminder that the importance of reading has not been lost,” said Senator Turner. “Children are our future and we must provide them with resources to grow. Having this Book Drive and Book Fair helps students reach their full potential.”

The Annual Book Fair is the flagship event of Turner’s literary program, the Turner Learning Collaborative (TLC). The initiative is designed to provide opportunities for non-traditional corporate and community partners, to create services and share resources, and directly benefit an elementary school in with education and health throughout the community. This year, the Columbus Elementary School was chosen to host the fair.

“It was a pleasure to work with Senator Turner to host this year’s Book Fair,” said Michael Rosenberg, Principal of Columbus Elementary School. “Every child should have access to books. They spark creativity and build learning capacity, and this event gives students the opportunity to do just that. By supporting these young learners with literary resources for the summer, it will better prepare them for the start of the next school year.”

With today’s diverse selection, Senator Turner’s initiative has garnered more than 30,000 donations in the last few years, and it will only continue to grow, so long as students remain eager to learn.