Club READ makes efforts for students


Kimberly Stelly

READ Club’s Treasurer RC Kubota leading the discussion on textbook affordability.

Every Wednesday afternoon, Club READ meets to discuss book giveaways, fundraisers and upcoming events on the Los Medanos campus in a tireless effort to make textbooks affordable and encourage widespread literacy.

“Our ultimate goal is to establish a textbook loan fund for financial aid students whose checks are delayed and who cannot afford to purchase them out of pocket,” said club president Tammy Smith.

Treasurer RC Kubota said one of the reasons the club was started was because “all of us knew someone who didn’t have their textbooks.” She also said one of the goals of the club is “rescuing books from being thrown away” and convincing people that reading is, in fact, fun. Though for that reason, people often mistake it for a book club and though they do accept books of all kinds, their main focus is using their time together to help LMC.

Unofficially appointed READ Secretary Lucas Stuart-Chilcote is passionate about the club’s objectives.

“What we hope to do and what my personal goal of my membership is to get READ on the map for LMC students,” said Stuart-Chilcote.

Typically, clubs on campus try to raise funds for activities, but given the lack of members, Club READ’s priority is recruitment.

Kubota said events like Club Day also make for good opportunities for collaboration.

“It’s what all the clubs are supposed to do,” she said. “We want to encourage collaboration and prevent sabotage.”

READ Club members hope to work with the LMC students and faculty to meet their goals. One of the ways the club members are trying to get students access to the books they need is by encouraging students, faculty and community members to donate textbooks to LMC’s library.

“Students who cannot afford to purchase textbooks depend on the library’s textbook reserves,“ said Smith, adding that donors can count given books as tax write offs.

Kubota said having more than one copy of the same book would also be beneficial to LMC students because if enough copies are donated, there might be a chance some students could take books home overnight.

“The library will often only have a copy for an entire course. If one student has checked that particular copy, others must wait hours, if not days, to do their homework or complete assigned readings,” said Smith. “A student’s lack of resources can greatly impede the successful completion of a course or their entire college career.”

In addition to aiding students gain temporary access to these books, Club READ also desires to lower the cost of owning texts.

“Many students like myself who do not qualify for financial aid, struggle to pay for school and overpriced textbooks,” said Smith.

Stuart-Chilcote wants “to provide another avenue for providing class-required books at standards other than the ‘big box’ companies where we are getting our books from.”

However, Kubota acknowledged that because they are a school club, their attempts to lower the cost of textbooks would be extremely difficult without statewide support.

That doesn’t mean they are giving up though.

Kubota said that’s why spreading awareness of the club’s efforts is important. Getting members makes it easier to get the word out and being a club member doesn’t have to mean rearranging your schedule — it’s fine if you can’t make it to the meetings.

In an email sent out by Smith, it was stated that the meeting times would probably change from Wednesdays to early evening Thursdays but added that “We’re not about meetings — we ask that people help with events and vote.”

For more information, contact Smith at [email protected] or Kubota at [email protected].