Maplewood teen donates more than $2K worth of books to younger students

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ — For the second year in a row, Maplewood teen Elisha Wasden hosted a book drive for the students participating in the Rising Stars Summer Reading program, which is held at Seth Boyden Elementary School.

The goal was to provide the 71 students in first through sixth grades each with $60 worth of books. The total value of donated books amounted to $2,255.

“It was harder to reach my goal this year,” Wasden said. “I didn’t receive as many donations as last year so I had to come up with other ways to raise the funds. I helped my mom with a few events and the proceeds from those events helped to purchase books. I also donated $200 of my own funds. The total amount was matched 50 percent in the form of books through the Usborne Books & More program; and we were able to get each participant $30 worth of new books. Each student received several reading books, a math activity book and a social-emotional book.”

The books were delivered on Friday, Oct. 1, by Wasden’s mother and brother, Annelisa Blake-Wasden and Xander Wasden, who helped tag all the bags with a special message from Elisha Wasden. Although Elisha Wasden wasn’t able to deliver the books himself because he was at school, he’s glad to know the students will enjoy the books he has selected.

Photos Courtesy of Annelisa Blake-Wasden