Many believe that the stories written in books have the power to transform minds. This idea led to the formation of a project called Becoming Bookworms. The project founded by Vanity Rivera and five of her friends aims to provide children in low-income neighborhoods access to free books.
Their passion for providing access to these free resources stems from their own love for reading. Rivera recalls that the Harry Potter series opened her imagination as a young child and helped her develop her own writing style.
“My writing style was really influenced by the books I read when I was younger,” Rivera said.
Although she built a connection with reading, she realizes that not all families can afford to purchase books.
“I was always lucky to have parents who did buy me books … but I realized there are kids who don’t have that opportunity and I want to provide them with that through the program,” Rivera said.
The members of Becoming Bookworms believe that anyone despite socioeconomic status should have the opportunity to indulge in the world of books.
“We believe education should be accessible to anyone regardless of their economic status. Knowledge opens so many doors and what better way to learn than by reading a great book?” Jamie Cardona, a Becoming Bookworm member said.
The project first plans to serve the city of Maywood by setting up stations around the community where anyone can pick up a book. Those who wish to be a part of this impact can donate books of all genres to Becoming Bookworms.
“If people wish to donate they can direct message us @becomingbookworms on Instagram and one of our team members will respond with how and where to donate,” Rivera said.
The members also see this project as helping people cope with the current pandemic.
“In our current situations, we have limited outside activities… so reading can be a great distraction while it also helps expand your learning experience,” Cardona said.
An idea that grew from a love for reading evolved into a project that hopes to help others discover that passion for themselves.
“Developing reading as a hobby leads to a road of success and that’s what we hope for everyone,” Rivera said.