Book drive collects books for Bexar County Jail.

Book drive collects books for Bexar County Jail. Rudy Sanchez/The Paisano

The Texas Organizing Project (TOP) has recently launched the Quiero Leer book drive, a community project that seeks to add hundreds of new books to the Bexar County Jail library. The local book drive is an initiative of the TOP’s Right2Justice campaign: an effort focused on improving the justice systems of Texas communities.

Raven Peña, a Right2Justice organizer, says the Quiero Leer book drive is integral to the campaign’s efforts to combat mass incarceration. The community project hopes to enrich the lives of those behind bars in the Bexar County Jail through the enlightening and transformative powers of reading. By improving the lives of the incarcerated, Peña believes the Quiero Leer book drive will “reduce recidivism and chip away at mass incarceration.”

“The campaign fights with two fists: one with political power and the other with people power,” Peña said. “It has been historically difficult to get books into the jail, but there have been tremendous amounts of responses from the community.”

One response was a donation of over 200 books from Revolution Thrift, a local business that aims to support non-profit organizations in the San Antonio community.

Rachel Kelley, executive director of Revolution Thrift, said that she felt moved by the Quiero Leer project and their mission.

“I heard about their efforts to improve the conditions of the Bexar County Jail, and I wanted to make a donation because their interests of improving the community matched those of Revolution Thrift,” Kelley said.

The book drive will continue through May 23. To make a contribution to the Quiero Leer project, visit bit.ly/QuieroLeerTOP.

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