There will be little to no room in Amirah Cutts van this weekend. She intends to pack every inch of her vehicle with books, and give them to the community for free. Cutts is determined to help neighbors begin or grow at-home libraries. “We are going to be giving away hundreds of books,” Cutts said. “We just want to be able to give as many collected resources we have out to the community.”
Cutts will team up with the Germantown Supply Hub, a neighborhood mutual aid program, to give away free books and school supplies. The event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 5, from 12 to 4 p.m. at the People’s Lot at 36 Church Lane.
Reading Recycled and Schoolbox Bazar donated lightly worn books for the event. Cutts, a former Germantown High School teacher, hopes that the books’ accessibility will encourage more reading and help parents or learning center supervisors with the virtual school year.
“I think it’s important because parents and caregivers may find themselves needing to fill in the gaps in the day,” Cutts said. “You just say, ‘here, you’re gonna get that book off the shelf and let’s see how we can continue your learning that is connected to what you just did with your teacher today.”
Before the pandemic, students could utilize their in-school libraries or visit public libraries in their neighborhoods. With school doors shut and public libraries opened with limited activity, it may be challenging for kids to get their hands on books quickly.
Cutts said she had hundreds of her own books in her own collection and she was hoping to find a new home for them. When she learned about the Supply Hub, she thought that recirculating her items through them seemed like a perfect idea.
“I said this makes sense for me, to want to come to this space with these books to give them out. People collect books, sometimes they read them, they outgrow them, and they want to pass them on to someone else.”
The Saturday giveaway is only the beginning of Cutts’s long-term goals. She plans to launch a home library challenge, encouraging Germantown neighbors to have at least 100 books at home.
You can find more information on the back to school book drive at this site.