In the earlier part of May 2011, Tidal Basin Review received an email with a simple request to send at least 2 books to a local school, which has found itself in quite an absurd and unfortunate predicament; The January 23, 2011 article of the The Washington Post reports “The literature section of Melissa Jackson’s library at Ballou Senior High School had 63 books one morning last week, not enough to fill five small shelves. In the area marked “pure science,” there were 77 volumes.”
Immediately, you ask, “How does a publicly-funded school find itself in this situation?” Unfortunately, Tidal Basin Review does not have an answer and is unwilling to point fingers. Nevertheless, the community at-large can surely do something about it and so can you!
Check your personal libraries and send Ballou Senior High School whatever you’re willing to let go of. Think old favorites from your youth. Books you may have duplicates of. Books you think a young person in the 9th – 12th grade could benefit from.
Send your books to:
Melissa Jackson, Librarian
Ballou Senior High School
3401 4th Street, SE
Washington, DC 20032
There are many members from the Washington, DC community supporting this effort including, but not limited to such wonderful organizations as Post No Ills Magazine, Split This Rock, and Howard University, as well as, organizations and individuals from outside of D.C. borders, such as the Revolving Door Reading Series (Chicago, IL), who are actively working to fix the problem. We kindly ask you to be a part of this national effort to support the youth of Ballou High Senior High School.
There are a number of ways to help. You can order books from Amazon.com and have them sent directly to Ballou Senior High School via the Books for Ballou Wish List. You can also make a monetary donation via www.cfncr.org. Be sure to select “Friends of Ballou” as the organization to which you wish to donate. As always, feel free to get creative! TBR just scooped up a ton of books via a book sale at the local Southwest Public Library.
The editors of Tidal Basin Review are in contact with the Office of D.C. Council to ensure no other D.C. Public School is facing this severe lack of access to literature in its libraries. If so, more info will be posted.