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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Murray State RCA leads book drive across campus

MacKenzie Rogers
Boxes are located in Waterfield Library, the Curris Center, residential colleges and the Alumni Center.

The Read the Dream Book Drive aims to bring books featuring diverse authors and characters to students in Clarksville and Mayfield.

Murray State’s Residential College Association (RCA) has partnered with the Black Alumni Network with the goal of collecting 100 new or gently used books so local kids can see themselves represented in the stories they read. For Jaylon Taggart, president of RCA, this mission is personal.

“In the area I lived, there were not a lot of African American kids that went to my elementary school—maybe a solid group of 20-30 out of our class,” Taggart said. “So we didn’t have a lot of repertoire that showcased our culture in a positive light. It’s something so simple that we just wanted to see, not only more people with complexions like me, but for all nationalities and walks and life.”

Read the Dream was started by Scottlyn Ballard, RCA’s Coordinating Officer of Multicultural Initiatives, who Taggart said hoped to help local communities that had been directly affected by tornadoes. By partnering with external organizations like the Black Alumni Network, RCA would have a better chance of bringing an abundance of books to these communities.

“We know college students don’t have the money to go out and buy books, especially books that are brand new,” Taggart said.

RCA began accepting donations for Read the Dream on Feb. 5, with donation boxes located throughout campus, including in the Curris Center, Waterfield Library and the residential colleges. The drive’s donation period will end Feb. 29. 

Taggart said RCA’s motivation in collecting and distributing diverse grade K-8 level books is to ensure the next generation of students has a more positive experience than his own, which faced a distinct lack of representation in the literature available to them.

“If I would have had literature that was more catered to me, and showing what people of African American descent go through, I would have been more elated to actually show up, and to actually read, and to actually be engaged,” Taggart said. “So we want to provide that opportunity to people who are currently going through the educational system who may not have people that look like them. That’s our main motivation.”

RCA will host a volunteer event at the Sid Easley Alumni Center on March 2 from 10 a.m. to noon, where volunteers can write cards to students and package the donated books to be ready to send to Clarksville and Mayfield. Any Murray State student is welcome to volunteer.

To stay updated on RCA service events, follow them on Instagram at msu_rca.

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About the Contributors
Ania Boutin
Ania Boutin, Chief Videographer
Ania Boutin is the Chief Videographer at The News. Boutin is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in media production. She enjoys reading, thrifting, and watching cartoons.
MacKenzie Rogers
MacKenzie Rogers, Lifestyle Editor
MacKenzie Rogers joined the staff of The News in Fall 2022. Rogers is a junior studying creative writing and journalism. She spends all her spare time reading, writing and playing video games.

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