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Students, Faculty Volunteer with Philadelphia Reads to Honor MLK

January 17, 2012

About 80 law school students, staff, faculty and their children honored the memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 16 by helping out with Philadelphia Reads.

Two busloads of volunteers from the law school rolled up their sleeves and sorted and boxed books that the charity, Philadelphia Reads, will make available to children in the city’s public and private schools.

Stephanie Huffnagle, a research and instructional services librarian at the law school’s Legal Research Center, came up with the idea for the project.

“We tried to think of a project that the law students would have an interest in, and we wanted a project we could all do together,” Huffnagle said. “I knew I could count on the wonderful law students.”

The volunteers converged at Martin Luther King High School in East Mount Airy, where they went to work in two shifts, sorting more than 30,000 books and recording more than 100 books on tape.

The replenished shelves will be ready for teachers who visit the organization's book bank, said Amy Purdy, assistant director of Philadelphia Reads.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," Purdy said in a message to Assistant Dean Mary McGovern, who helped organize the project with Huffnagle and Director of Pro Bono and Public Interest Programs Karen Pearlman Raab. "We look forward to future opportunities to partner with you and the wonderful Drexel students!"