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Local teen’s Booklings nonprofit to hold monthly book drives

Sara Sigal during a Booklings tutoring session.
(Courtesy of Sara Sigal)

Sara Sigal’s organization offers reading tutoring for kids

Carmel Valley teen entrepreneur Sara Sigal is hosting her first-ever book drive to support her mission of fostering a love for reading in kids.

On Thursday, July 14, Diesel bookstore in Del Mar Highlands Town Center will host Sara’s Booklings Book Drive event from 1-4 p.m. where customers can come in and buy a book for 20% off to donate toward the drive.

In addition, Booklings has an Amazon wishlist for people to donate books virtually as well.

Sara plans to hold the book drives monthly and this month’s drive will support the Movement BE Community Center in La Mesa. The organization offers academic programs for students in underserved communities and Sara is excited to get new books into their hands—she’s hoping to get at least 75 books to donate.

The book drive is an extension of Sara’s nonprofit organization Booklings, a one-on-one summer reading tutoring program for kids that she started through her involvement with WIT (Whatever it Takes). WIT helps teens develop leadership skills and entrepreneurship through its courses, which can be taken for college credit in partnership with UC San Diego.

Sara, a rising senior at La Jolla Country Day, started Booklings during the pandemic after being inspired by her little sister.

“She was going into the second grade and had a lot of friends who were struggling over Zoom school,” she said.

The focus of Booklings’ tutoring sessions is to support students’ reading skills while also helping them develop a love for reading. Sara offers 20-minute sessions for first through third graders that focus on sight reading, reading fundamentals and reading comprehension. “I love working with kids,” she said.

In 2020 and 2021, Sara hosted the tutoring virtually and this summer, she has given students the option to stay online or have sessions in-person at the Carmel Valley Library.

Sara has loved to read since she was a little girl (her first word was “book” ) and sometimes has two books going at once. The avid reader promotes her book recommendations for readers of all ages on the Booklings’ Instagram page. A recent pick was “The Treasure Hunters” series by James Patterson for third grade and above readers.

“The eight-book adventure-series centers around the Kidd siblings who travel around the world looking for lost artifacts,” Sara wrote. “When I was younger I read some of the books in the series myself, and I can wholeheartedly recommend these books to younger readers for the series’ spontaneous and exciting characteristics.”

Sara also plays the harp in youth symphony, participates in mock trial, plays field hockey and hopes to study English in college.

Another Booklings book drive will be scheduled for August—an in-person shopping event has not been scheduled yet but people will be able to participate again virtually.

While she started in WIT three years ago in the college credit course, she is still involved in the program, now doing one-on-one counseling with Sarah Hernholm, the founder and president of WIT.

Sara said WIT has given her skills for college and beyond, challenging her and pushing her out of her comfort zone. It taught her to not be afraid to take the next step.

“Something I learned through WIT is how much people tend to underestimate themselves, including me!” Sara said. “I’ve learned that I am able to do things I might not think I can.”

For information on the book drives or tutoring, visit linktr.ee/booklingsinfo. To learn more about WIT, visit doingwit.org


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