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Mackenzie Bearup – Helping Children in Need Turn a Page in Their Lives

A few years ago, Mackenzie Bearup found out she had Reflexive Sympathetic Disorder (RSD). This condition caused her bad knee pain for long time periods. Her knee hurt so much that she often had to stay in bed for months at a time.

To ease her pain, Mackenzie turned to reading. It helped her a lot. This made Mackenzie think about how reading might help other kids in difficult situations. And so, in 2007, she decided to help homeless and abused kids by organizing book drives so they could have books to read.

With Mackenzie’s first book drive, she hoped to collect 300 books, but instead she collected 3,000! Inspired by this, she created Sheltering Books, which collects books and donates them to shelters all over the country. Mackenzie has now collected over 57,000 books, bringing joy to kids who need it the most!  This video tells Mackenzie’s story.

Additional Resources:

  • Here is Mackenzie’s website.
  • Here is an article about Mackenzie.
  • Here is another article about Mackenzie and her efforts.

Topics for Discussion:

  • Do you like to read? How would you feel if you had no books to read?
  • Mackenzie read to help her through tough times. What positive thing you can do to help you through tough times?

Take Action:

  • Look around your house. Do you have old books that you could donate to a good cause?
  • Maybe you could have a book drive! You could put up flyers and collect books in your community, just like Mackenzie does!
  • See the My Book Drive website for ideas about book drive fundraisers.

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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