GREAT FALLS, Va. (DC News Now) — A Virginia teenager is making a difference in the lives of students at an elementary school in Southeast D.C. by collecting and donating nearly 2000 free books.

“I love reading. I want them to feel that same excitement and joy that they have that I feel,” said 15-year-old Samantha Grayer.

Grayer noticed there was a need in the Washington D.C. area, and decided to do something about it.

“I found websites that listed the reading proficiency rates of multiple elementary schools in dc and I reached out to each school and I started corresponding with the school specifically savoy elementary school,” she said.

This summer she hosted her first book drive “Berries for Books.” Grayer received many donations and gave away chocolate strawberries to show her appreciation.

“Reading has always reading or writing for me is something I’ve always really loved English is my favorite subject. I really wanted to give that opportunity to elementary school students so they can also explore that love that I found” she said. “I’m in shock every time, it’s crazy to think that we’ve collected that many, and we’re going to make such an impact.”

Grayer says a simple book can change the life of any child.
“It’s hard for the students to actually have access to books and the librarian has said they really do enjoy reading it says they don’t have the resources to do that. So what this is going to do is give them the opportunity to actually read and enjoy these books and do what they want to but they haven’t been able to do,” she said.

More than 250 Savoy Elementary Students will received the free books this Thursday at their back-to-school night.

“That’s going to be amazing for me actually getting to see the impact I’m making and what I’ve been working for all summer to see that actually happen. I’m really excited for that,” she said.