Sometimes I’m reminded of the good, non-squabbling aspects of EphBlog.

Wick Sloane ’76 brought Noah Smith-Drelich ’07 to our attention a few weeks ago in this post. You may remember that Noah teaches English to 7th-12th graders on the Pine Ridge Reservation and is trying to build up a library.

Several readers offered to send books to help his effort, and I was happy to send some as well. It totally made my weekend to find a thank you note from Noah in my mailbox today with some pictures of his students unpacking books. But the most thrilling thing for me (and totally unexpected) was him mentioning that several of the books I sent were checked out by the next day!! I was surprised at how happy that made me.  It’s great to think that another high school student might also enjoy one of my favorite books of all time (The Bean Trees), and that these students will have access to more books.

Lest you think this post is just about me feeling good about doing good, I wanted to put in a plug again for people to contribute to the library.  If you want to send books, you still can. As to what you might send, Noah leaves the door pretty wide open:

Books-wise, I would especially love young adult novels. My students seem most excited by the more recent ones (Twilight, Harry Potter, Fat Kid Rules the World, anything by Sharon Draper, the Chicken Soup…books [ugh], etc), and haven’t gotten as into what I consider to be the “classics” (Huck Finn, Lord of the Flies, 1984 etc), although of course there are exceptions to that. I think the more “old-fashioned”-sounding language turns them off. In particular, I’m constantly short of books by Native American authors or about Native American subjects; I have two of every Sherman Alexie book ever published, but that’s not nearly enough, and I have far fewer by just about every other Native author. My students range in reading level from 2nd to 12th, but most are clustered around middle school reading levels. Hopefully by the end of this year that will have changed (we’re going full steam towards two years of reading growth but it’s too early to see if we’ve hit it yet). I really do believe that a good book is a good book, and given that my kids got really into Shakespeare last year, I don’t think you can go wrong in donating.

And his info:

PO Box 293
Wanblee, SD 57577

Or, if you need a physical address:

Noah Smith-Drelich
Wanblee, SD 57577-0293

I wanted to post about this, because I think helping out a fellow Eph who is doing something amazing is a positive result of EphBlog (like getting to meet and become friends with some of my favorite commenters and touring the great swimming holes around Williamstown and learning about the tunnels and hidden spots on campus).

After the…tense…series of posts over the last week or so, I know that I needed a warm fuzzy so I thought I’d share it with all of you.  Happy weekend!!

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