College Wood student creates nonprofit, donates more than 1,000 books


By Desiree Williams

Keira Hacker has always had a passion for reading, but she never knew it would turn into something so big.

Keira’s collection spanned an entire hallway at the Stout Field Elementary food pantry Dec. 19, 2016. All leftover books were donated to students the following day at a choir concert. (Submitted photo)

That is until her fifth-grade teacher, Jacy Schneider, introduced Genius Hour to her College Wood Elementary class in August. Google designed Genius Hour to allow employees to devote 20 percent of their time to a project of their choosing. Schneider adapted this to the classroom by giving students one hour each week to work on their own project.

“I thought it was a good, fun and relevant way for them to learn more of what they want to learn,” Schneider said.

Hacker used the time to create For The Love of Books, a nonprofit that provides books to those that don’t have many at home.

“I think that reading is a fun hobby, and everyone should be able to do it whenever they want or wherever,” Hacker said. “Books, especially fiction and fantasy, can take you out of your life and put you into the life of the characters of that book.”

Hacker started her project by researching other nonprofits. She reached out to the community through social media to spread the word and collect books. She collected more than 1,000 books. She donated them to the food pantry at Stout Field Elementary after reading a newspaper article about it.

“That made me think that if they needed help with food, they probably don’t have enough money for books, either,” Hacker said.

Hacker donated her books Dec. 19, 2016. She said patrons at the food pantry were surprised to see books available with no limit to how many they could take.

Hacker is already working on her next project, building a little free library with her friend to donate to other schools. Schneider also is excited to collaborate with other schools in the district for more book drives.

To donate books, contact Hacker at



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