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Bridging the gap of reading through book donations in Bozeman

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Posted at 9:48 AM, Dec 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-26 11:48:05-05

Hopa Mountain Story Makers has spent 18 years giving the gift of books, literacy and learning to children around the state of Montana; an annual book drive is hoping to continue that legacy of learning.

Books can be donated at Barnes and Noble, Country Bookshelf, and Hopa Mountain. Once collected, they may be translated and delivered, along with educational materials, to towns, homes, reservations, or hospitals that are in need.

“We’re excited to get more books out in the coming year. Last year Hopa Mountain donated over 50,000 books, and we want to thank the community of Bozeman for their generosity and support,” Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer said.

Hopa Mountain executive director Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer elaborated on how the books may be translated into a number of languages and delivered to towns with few or no bookstores.

“We always appreciate bilingual books, we also have labels to translate books into different languages,” Sachatello-Sawyer said.

Sachatello-Sawyer went on to say that supporting and connecting with rural and tribal communities — and the citizen leaders in them, fills her and her team with joy.

Ariana Paliobagis — who owns Country Bookshelf in Bozeman — has been a part of assisting with Hopa Mountain’s book drive donations for years. She has a personal connection to those wanting a book of their own.

“I grew up in towns without book stores, and in the earlier part of my life resources were really tight and books were not really something to be purchased it was really special to have a book of your own that you got to keep,” Paliobagis said.

Already, several boxes of books have been donated to Country Bookshelf, given to Hopa Mountain and are being prepped to be shipped across the state.

“We will continue collecting at least until the end of the year…or until people stop bringing books…we’ll just keep collecting,” Paliobagis said.

Books may be donated at Hopa Mountain’s office, Barnes and Noble or at Country Bookshelf.