Give a Book, Encourage Reading

Anyone interested in giving the gift of reading is invited to purchase a book for a child during this year's book drive led by the Book Giving Club at Tulane.

Laura Cox, a Tulane business student and chair of the CACTUS book giving project, sets up a book tree in the Tulane Undergraduate Admission Office. (Photo by Alicia Duplessis)

“We sent packets to every public elementary school in Orleans Parish and asked teachers in pre-K through second grade to write down the name of every student in their class and the name of a book that the kid was interested in reading,” said Laura Cox, a Tulane business student and chair of the Book Giving Club. Cox is a master of accounting candidate and finance major in the A. B. Freeman School of Business “4 plus 1” program.

“Our goal is to get kids engaged in reading, and that's why we let them choose a book that they want,” said Cox.

The packets included a list of “100 books every child should read.”

Patrick Rigamer is co-chair of the Book Giving Club. He helped put together the packets and also developed the project's website. Rigamer is a Tulane JD/MBA student who has worked on the project almost year round.

Donors may log on to the Book Giving Tree website to view the wish list of requested books. The option of making a monetary donation also is available on the site.

Book Giving Club members are currently placing book trees on campus and in community bookstores, encouraging potential donors to select from the tree a paper ornament containing a child's name and the book that the child has requested. Book trees on campus are located in the Undergraduate Admission Office in Gibson Hall, the Newcomb College Institute and the faculty lounge in the A. B. Freeman School of Business.

Offering a 15 percent discount, the Garden District Book Shop is among the participating bookstores. Octavia Books and Maple Street Children's Book Shop are offering a 10 percent discount on titles from the wish list.

The deadline for monetary donations is Nov. 30 and the deadline for donating books is Dec. 5. Books will be wrapped and delivered to the public school students soon after.

Out-of-town donors can participate by shopping online or at their local bookstores and shipping to the Book Giving Tree, c/o Laura Cox, 6314 Clara St., New Orleans, LA 70118.

The Book Giving Club operates under the umbrella of the Community Action Council of Tulane University Students (CACTUS).

For information on participating, e-mail Laura Cox or visit