The nonprofit Immunize4Immunity, formed by two Rockridge High School and Academies of Loudoun students, donated 5,360 books to disadvantaged communities nationwide.
Abishek Krishnan and Jeet Metu worked with 13 chapters and 73 volunteers to collect and distribute books to libraries, donation centers, and charities.
The teens said that educational asymmetry is caused, in large part, by a lack of access to supplemental resources, such as books.
“Many families in disadvantaged communities cannot afford books/supplemental learning wmaterial, so many elementary students become undermined,” they said in a statement.
They said that the pandemic has created a culture that disincentivizes elementary students from learning.
“In fact, many leading meta-analysis studies determine that students testing in 2021 were about ten points behind in reading compared with matched students in previous years,” they said. “Moreover, elementary students in marginalized communities disproportionately report lower levels of comprehension compared with their student counterparts in other parts of the country.”
The teens launched Immunize4Immunity during the pandemic, and held educational events on vaccinations to combat misinformation. It also held a mask-making event, during which 80 volunteers made over 5,400 masks for healthcare facilities. The group also partnered with UNICEF to raise $70,000 for families impacted by the pandemic in India.