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10/06/2014

Got Extra Books? 'StEPP up' and Donate Them at USciences

This blog post was written by Priya Panchal PharmD'16. She is a peer mentor for the Student Excellence and Professional Preparation (StEPP) program at USciences.

The Student Excellence and Professional Preparation (StEPP) program is an on-campus organization mentored by a select group of students. Each student is dedicated to mentoring their very own group of first-year undergraduate students as they progress into the professional years of the program. In addition to advising these students, the StEPP Program has been involved in a variety of events to serve Philadelphia. Since the initiation of the StEPP Program, we have coordinated a book drive to donate SAT, ACT and AP exam preparation books to high schools in the city. Antonella Frattarelli PharmD'15, also a StEPP mentor, began the drive three years ago. As she is off on rotations, Chelsea Cunningham PharmD'16 and I have carried on this responsibility.

Recently, we coordinated the donation of preparation books to Parkway West High School in West Philadelphia. We are very appreciative of Tim Dunn, the source of the majority of books that were donated to the school. Tim works for “Books Through Bars”, a bookstorelocated on Baltimore Avenue. This bookstore is all volunteer and nonprofit, as they distribute free books and educational materials to incarcerated people in PA, NJ, NY, MD, DE, VA, and WV. They also offer programs to educate and engage the public to think critically about the issue of imprisonment.

When I drove up to the school, the principal stepped out with eight freshman boys who were excited and willing to carry the boxes of books inside.  The principal was ecstatic when she saw how many boxes there were! She said that the books will be given to the course coordinator of the test prep course at the high school, and the books that are not used will be given to the Student Activity Center affiliated with the school. Before leaving, the principal requested for me to send out the contact information of those who were involved in the drive so that she could have the students practice their writing skills by writing thank you letters.

Overall, the drive was a tremendous success, as we donated 60+ books to the school! StEPP is continuing to collect books throughout the year, so if anyone has books they are no longer using, please send them our way!!!

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