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Helping hurricane victims turn a new page in New Orleans

New Orleans hurricane victims will benefit from the book donations of generous Guilderland residents.

Mildred Elley, a series of schools that award a variety of vocational degrees, organized a book drive as part of an initiative to help needy families in the United States, along with the Better World Books organization and the National Center for Family Literacy.

President and CEO of Empire Education Corporation and Mildred Elley schools Faith Takes said she plans to continue the practice of donating books each school year.

Takes, who has lived in Guilderland her whole life, said reading was something important to her as a child and as a mother, and she wanted to pass that on to others as best she could.

Instead of trashing [old books] and throwing them away, we ought to share them with places that don't have books, she said.

The school collected used college textbooks from July to August and collected more than 300 books donated by students. The books will be given to those who need them or sold to generate funding for the NCFL program, according to information provided by Mildred Elley.

Other organizations also contributed to the drive, Takes said, and the books are going primarily to New Orleans.

Takes said the school has generated a large number of outdated books due to publishers constantly coming out with new editions, and those older books are still useful.

"Students don't want last year's editions," she said.

Students will have the opportunity to donate any books they cannot sell back to the bookstore or use again.

Mildred Elley is in the process of moving its campus from the Latham Circle Mall to 527 Central Ave. in Albany, and during the transition, officials uncovered many unused books, Takes said.

Takes said the school might continue to participate in the NCFL program, but is also eyeing two other options. One is the Martin Luther King Junior book drive, run by the Office of General Services and the other by the Board of Regents. Both are focused on downtown Albany.

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