July 2, 2014
La Caza Azul hosts a book drive for unaccompanied minors picked up at the US-Mexico border
by Julia Fleischaker
Harlem’s La Casa Azul Bookstore is gearing up to partner on a book drive with the Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project (U-LAMP) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/Safe Passage Project. Starting July 10, books will be collected for and distributed to children who were picked up at the US-Mexico and are going through deportation proceedings in New York City. According to Carolyn Kellogg at the Los Angeles Times:
About 50,000 unaccompanied minors from Mexico and Central America have arrived at U.S. facilities on the border of Mexico since Oct. 1. The underequipped immigration facilities are not prepared to handle that volume of children crossing the border alone.
Some of these unaccompanied minors are being moved to other parts of the country. It’s those who are being transferred to New York for deportation proceedings that La Casa Azul book drive will benefit.
On the bookstore’s website, they say they’re looking for books that are “in Spanish, age appropriate and culturally relevant for mostly Central American and Mexican children and teenagers and mostly fall between the Pre-K to 8th grade reading levels.”
New books can be bought at the bookstore, and new or gently used books can be shipped there. The drive ends on August 10, when bookstore employees will deliver them directly to children at local shelters. More information, and and details on who to contact with questions, can be found on the store’s website.
Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.