Reading Heart book drive underway

Fresno, Calif - Friday, a book drive kicked off in Downtown Fresno, all spearheaded by a 9-year-old's goal to help fight illiteracy in the Valley.
 
9-year-old Danay Ferguson loves reading and wanted to share her passion for books with other children. She also decided while at it, to try and break a Guinness World Record, for collecting the most amount of books in 24 hours. To break it, more than 275,000 books need to be collected, Danay is hoping for 500,000!
 
Friday, people from all across the Valley brought books and monetary donations to Chukchansi Park. Danay was there for it all and said it was "awesome" to watch.
 
"For the past two years, I have learned that other kids don't have books," Ferguson said. "So now my goal is to give every single kid a book!"
 
Hundreds made donations. One of the larger was from Big Creek Elementary School. The school principal and a parent, Maureen Marian, brought 3,000 books all the way to Fresno.
 
"We started weeding the library about a month ago," Marian said. "So it just was wonderful timing! Cause we really didn't know what to do with over 3,000 books!" 
 
Volunteers from nearby schools like Edison High School helped sort and count books.
 
"I'm happy to help out," volunteer Vianca Rodriguez said. "I'm happy everyone else came out too!"
 
Fresno City Council member Oliver Baines brought nearly 100 books, and a $500 donation. 
 
"To have a 9-year-old to take on this type of effort right here... is encouraging," Baines said. 
 
Fresno County Sheriff Deputies and Cadets will be on hand helping out for the full 24 hours. Sheriff Margaret Mims showed her support for Danay's efforts.
 
"That's seed money! So when you plant a seed it grows right?" Sheriff Mims said to Danay. "So we're going to grow as a result of this! So thank you Danay."
 
The 9-year-old is proving that no matter how old you are, you can make a big difference.
 
"It shows our kids, look what you guys can do!" Marian said.
 
The drive is taking place at Chukchansi Park from 3:00 p.m. Friday to 3:00 p.m. Saturday. It is open 24 hours; new and used books along with monetary donations are being accepted.

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