By Jocelyn Visnov, Production Editor/Web Editor
The English and Education departments at Manhattan College have joined forces to help bring the wonders of reading to Riverdale this Halloween. Led by members of Sigma Tau Delta, MC’s English honor society, students and staff can now donate books to be used and distributed to kids as part of the annual Safe Halloween event.
Each year, the school of education organizes the Safe Halloween event for children and parents of the Riverdale community. The event includes representation from various clubs at MC who are tasked with choosing a theme and activities to set up in different classrooms so that children can have a fun, safe trick-or-treat experience prior to Halloween night.
This year, the English department chose “Haunted Library” as their theme for the safe Halloween event. The goal of the book drive is to collect children’s books to read with the attendees of Safe Halloween, and send the books home with them as well.
Derya Demirel, a senior English major and board member of Sigma Tau Delta explained that the idea for the book drive came up during a board meeting for the honor society as they discussed various upcoming events this semester.
“When we had our original board meeting, we were talking about events that we wanted to do and I think Sam Keating actually brought up the Safe Halloween that the education department was doing,” Demirel said.
From there, the board members decided that they would have a book drive to collect books to read and distribute during the event.
“We’re doing a haunted library theme, so we’re collecting books, probably from professors and students who have any old children’s books lying around,” Demirel said. “And then we’re going to decorate whichever room we get and they can come in and grab a book instead of getting candy from like any of the other rooms. We’re just going to be giving out like children’s books essentially.
Donation boxes for the book drive can be found on the second floor of Miguel Hall by the dean’s office for the School of Liberal Arts.
Adam Koehler, Ph.D., and Deirdre O’Leary, Ph.D., both professors of the English department, were involved in the planning of the initiative. However Koehler, the chair of the English department, credited the success of the initiative to the students involved.
“The Book Drive is organized by our amazing Sigma Tau Delta students, who do all sorts of great events for the College and surrounding community,” Koehler said. “Their work with the book drive is a great way of bringing our faculty and students together — all while sponsoring literacy through the love of literature.”
Elizabeth Montoni, a senior English major who serves as the public relations chair for Sigma Tau Delta, explained her excitement and enthusiasm behind the book drive.
“I think the book drive is a really great idea,” Monotoni said. “I think we wanted to do something where we could really help kids. And combining Halloween is a really cute idea because you know, who doesn’t love Halloween? And I think it’s nice to give back to the community. And especially as the English department, our big thing is that we love to read books. And we talked about literature and I think to kind of give back to the community and kids who really need books is a great thing. So I’m grateful to be part of it.”