December 15, 2009

Owens Community College Student Groups Donate Thousands of Books to Needy Literacy Programs, Dec. 16

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH – Owens Community College’s Environmental Club, Student Government and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society are reaching out to individuals throughout the world by giving new life to thousands of old books previously destined for dumpsters or destruction. The initiative, titled “Book Drives for Better Lives”, is part of an ongoing campus- and community-wide book collection program intended to help needy non-profit programs and organizations through literacy.

Since establishing the collection drive program in June 2006, the three student organizations have received over 40,000 in donated books from Owens employees and students, as well as the surrounding communities. Most recently, the three student groups have collected over 4,000 books, which will eventually end up in the hands of underprivileged individuals throughout the world.

Beginning at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16, the three student organizations will pick up the various collection bins located around the Toledo-area Campus and prepare the donated books for shipment to Better World Books, which is a national organization dedicated to fighting global illiteracy through the dissemination books and funds to needy non-profit organizations. Literacy non-profit groups in which Better World Books, located in Mishawaka, Ind., serves include Books for Africa (Africa), the National Center for Family Literacy (United States), Room to Read (South Asia) and Worldfund (Latin America), among others.

To date, Better World Books has received more than 28 million book donations from over 1,800 colleges and universities participating in the worldwide program. The international organization has also assisted in raising more than $3.9 million for approximately 80 literacy and education non-profit groups.

Owens has set up a variety of collection points around the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. Area residents can drop off their charitable book donations on the Toledo-area Campus at the Student Health and Activities Center, the Industrial and Engineering Technologies Building, the Fire Science and Law Enforcement Center, College Hall, the Audio/Visual Classroom Center, the Center for Fine and Performing Arts, the Center for Development and Training, and Health Technologies Hall. On the Findlay-area Campus, collection points are in the College’s Commons area.

The Owens Environmental Club is comprised of students who are dedicated to addressing a multitude of environmental issues on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. The student organization has successfully implemented numerous recycling programs, while bringing more awareness to environmental concerns. Within the community, the Owens Environmental Club regularly helps in community clean-ups and preserve restorations, participates in charity events, and supports various environmental causes with a yearly Human-I-Tees fundraiser.

The overall mission of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize academic excellence among two-year college students, provide opportunities for leadership training and an intellectual climate for the exchange of ideas and ideals. In addition, the society continues to promote among its members the four standard hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. Owens’ chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society is one of the largest honor societies in Ohio.

The College’s Student Government is comprised of individuals who serve as the student body’s voice on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. Balancing their time between school and work, Student Government members are constantly initiating new projects and events that cater to the interests of Owens’ student body.

For more information about the book collection drive, or to donate, call (567) 661-7583 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7583.

One of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio, Owens Community College is a fully accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education that has served Northwest Ohio since 1965. With a commitment to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability, the College serves the diverse academic needs of credit and non-credit students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. Owens offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit