Rodrick Patterson contributes to community with book drive

Growing up, a fondness for reading is what shaped the imagination of Alcorn State University senior Rodrick Patterson. Now that he is a young adult, he plans to spread his love for reading and knowledge to today’s youth by donating books to them.

“As a child, reading was a powerful influence in my life,” said Rodrick. “It allowed me to exercise my imagination and envision myself in distant places, times and cultures. Reading provided me with perspective about the world around me and enriched my understanding of the human condition. I believe all children should have the opportunity to find themselves in books in the way that I did.”

Rodrick recently partnered with the Southern Poverty Law Center Mississippi to collect soft cover books that are appropriate for students with 3 to 12 grade reading levels for the “Books not Bars” initiative. Once the books are collected, donations will be made to several detention facilities across the state of Mississippi so that students can be productive while incarcerated.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation.

The book drive has inspired Rodrick to visit detention facilities around Mississippi to engage with the students serving time. He said that the students have big dreams of becoming successful in society after turning their lives around. He believes that giving them books to read will make a difference in their development.

“The students deserve equal opportunities to learn and achieve their dreams. Books may not be the only solution, but they are an important part of the solution as they offer an avenue to keep students engaged, stimulated, entertained and educated. This book drive is driven by the desire to give students in detention facilities an outlet and an opportunity to learn.”

Rodrick said that the goal is to collect 2,000 books to be disbursed among Mississippi’s 16 juvenile detention facilities.

For more information about donating books, contact Rodrick at [email protected].

  • Books resized.jpg