Students create book drive for jail

Chad Frey
The Kansan

Elise Jantz, a senior at Newton High School this year, envisions jail as a claustrophobic place, with those inside needing a mental break from that now and then. 

Elise Jantz and the Newton High School National Honor Society recently delivered about 200 books to the Harvey County Detention Center for the center library.

Jantz, and members of the National Honor Society, delivered tools for that mental break on Good Friday — boxes of books for the Harvey County Detention Center Library. There were more than 220 books in those boxes, collected over the course of a few weeks. 

She got the idea from her sister, who donates to a jail in her area. 

"We were looking for a group service project at that time, and I thought this one would be a good one for us to do," Jantz said. 

For two weeks National Honor Society, about 30 students at Newton High School, pitched in the help the effort. Donation boxes were placed at schools, Mojo's Coffee Bar, a preschool and some churches. 

"We were collecting them at a lot of community centers and we go a lot. It was a great response from the community," Jantz said. "We got more than expected. I was expecting probably about a hundred. This was really good." 

There are books of all types for all reading levels — including some classics. 

And, of course, a few of Jantz's personal favorites were in those boxes. 

"I saw some good ones. 'A Wrinkle in Time' ( Madeleine L'Engle) is in there, I really like that one," Jantz said. "We also had some monetary donations so I was able to go and pick some out myself."