Donate books for elementary school children in honor of Black History Month

Desired books are written by Black authors, feature Black characters



Students can drop off books by Black authors or featuring Black characters at Bohler Gymnasium.


WSU Athletics, the Black Student Union and the Black Student-Athlete Association have teamed up to host a Black History Month book drive. Their goal is to receive at least 80 books. 

Students can donate books written by or featuring Black individuals by leaving them in a dropbox in Bohler Gymnasium until Feb. 25, said Janelle Nguyen, student-athlete development coordinator. 

Student-athletes will read the donated books to students in schools such as Franklin, Jefferson and Sunnyside elementary schools, Nguyen said. At the end of the event, all the books will be donated to the participating schools. 

Chris Jackson, WSU defensive back and BSAA secretary/treasurer, said the athletes are taking COVID-19 precautions and will read the books to students virtually. 

Engaging with one’s community is essential, especially in a small town such as Pullman, he said. Many student-athletes are excited to engage, and have reached out to staff saying they want to participate in this event and read to the children. They want to include student-athletes from each sport.  

Jackson said he hopes to inspire the next generation and his younger self with this event. Growing up, he did not see or read books with characters who had curly hair and dark skin like his. His inspiration came from his parents, who demonstrated what it was to be hard working.

Children have challenges and their goals can seem far away, Jackson said. Books with characters who students can identify with are powerful because they show students their goals are attainable. 

Jackson said he hears about change happening all around him and it is exciting he gets to see and be part of that change.

“Shook One” by Charlamagne Tha God is Jackson’s favorite book by a Black author. He said it addresses the importance of being open about your mental health. The topic resonated with him as a student-athlete because athletes’ mental health is often overlooked or pushed to the side. 

“Especially him being such a public figure, someone who interviews artists and celebrities day by day, kind of for him to put them in a book, that was kind of powerful,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the BSAA is also hosting other events in February to honor Black History Month. Today, they are hosting a Black History Month trivia event, where they will also discuss ways to support the Black community. They are planning a Black History movie night on Feb. 22 to educate student-athletes about Black history.

On Feb. 23, Jackson said student-athletes are participating in a run to honor Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was murdered on Feb. 23, 2020 in Georgia.

“We’re just trying to spread awareness about Black History Month and kind of try to focus on more about celebrating Black history rather than marking bondage of the Black history,” Jackson said. 

If you would like to donate a book and cannot find the drop-off site or want to meet up to donate a book, email [email protected]