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Excelsior student organizes book drive

Collects more than 600 books to give to a Sacramento school
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Mackenzie Brown is an avid reader and a fan of television.

“Me and my mom really like ‘Ellen.’ I know I’m 11, but it’s my favorite show,” Mackenzie said.

On one episode, Ellen DeGeneres spoke with a principal at a low-income school who went above and beyond to help her students.

“They were poor and they didn’t have what most kids have,” Mackenzie said.

The sixth grader felt inspired to help other kids, too. So she started a book drive at Excelsior School in Roseville in early November and has already collected more than 600 books.

And they keep coming. On Wednesday, fourth grader William Hu donated more than 40 books.

“I’ve always been a really big reader,” Mackenzie said. “There are all these food and toy drives. Why not start something else?”

The top three givers will get a gift card, and the books will go to Washington Elementary School in Sacramento.

“My dad talked to the principal and she said it would be wonderful to have that,” Mackenzie said.

Excelsior School Principal Diane Duncan said her school relies heavily on their active Parent Teacher Club and the Eureka Schools Foundation to supplement their campus library. The Eureka Union School District hasn’t funded new books for the library for the last few years, she said.

“We’re not funded at a higher level than (Washington) School. In fact we’re funded at a lower level,” Duncan said. “The difference is that we have so much parental support.”

The Maidu Excelsior Parent Teacher Club had a revenue of $43,698 in 2009. The nonprofit Eureka Schools Foundation was founded more than 18 years ago to assist all campuses in the Eureka Union School District. The group raises about $500,000 a year.

Besides the parents, the kids are also stepping up to help — in this case to benefit another school affected by the state budget crisis. As for Mackenzie, she’s donated about 30 books.

“Mackenzie is a little go-getter,” Duncan said.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.

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Excelsior School book drive
What:
Donate kids books for K-6 readers
When: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday until Wednesday, Nov. 23
Where: Front office, 2701 Eureka Road in Roseville