September marks World Literacy month as declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The SM Store celebrates the event this year as an opportunity to bridge school children to share reading and learning materials to fellow kids from communities in need through an online Donate A Book drive. This initiative is made possible with the support of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (COCOPEA), Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAPSCU), and Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP).

Last September 17, the online Donate A Book drive gathered Grade 3 pupils from 23 private elementary schools across the country. Ms. Anya Santos-Uy, storyteller and author of ABKD ng Kalikasan, treated the kids to a fun storytelling session about the environment. She also taught the kids the importance of taking care of their books to share them with other kids. The online Donate A Book drive gathered 3,000 books from participating students and private schools.

Dr. Lourdes Almeda Sese, PAPSCU’s President and President of St. Michael College Laguna (SMCL), one of the participating schools in the online Donate A Book drive, said, “SMCL believes that literacy is the key to recover from where we are now. The project connects us to the children in far-flung areas who need learning materials. We believe in the project, and it allows us to touch lives during these extraordinary times.”

To date, more than 20 elementary private schools and eight colleges and universities committed to donating books through The SM Store’s Donate A Book Program. The program started in 2015 and has collected over 800,000 reading and learnings materials for the benefit of public schools and youth organizations around the country.

You, too, can share pre-loved or new books. Drop your donations at the Donate A Book kiosk in select The SM Store branches donations until September 30, 2021. For every donation, you will get a P100 discount coupon.