LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — The International Book Project ships books to people in need around the world, but this week, they’re helping closer to home.

Hindman Elementary in Knott County was destroyed by historic floods in late July. The school lost more than 13,000 library books. The International Book Project is partnering with the Bloomsbury on Sunday Book Club to replace what’s been lost.

They have collected nearly 2,500 books so far with the goal of 10,000 by the end of the month. The group is accepting everything from picture books to dictionaries for students in kindergarten through the eighth grade.

“Books are kind of the next thing,” said Lisa Fryman, executive director of the International Book Project. “You have to get people housed, and you have to give them clothes. We want everything to return to normal as soon as possible.”

Leaders at the International Book Project say books can change lives. Books teach us how to make smart choices, advocate for ourselves, and understand different communities and cultures. But for some in eastern Kentucky, they’re a luxury they no longer have access to.

“Everybody says the power of literacy. It’ll take you places,” said Reba Martinez with LEX Creative ReUse. “If we can work together to do that, then that’s probably the best thing we can do in the moment.”

New hardback books are preferred, but they’re accepting used books as well. They have a wishlist set up on Amazon, or you can simply give cash.

The International Book Project is also talking with the Carnegie Center for Literacy and learning to get local authors to donate their children’s books.

The drive wraps up on Friday, Sept. 16.

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