Oakland Hills students collect children’s books in Mexico

OAKLAND — Three enterprising boys, including one from Piedmont, start a nonprofit foundation that sends books to students in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The Good Books Foundation, founded last June, has so far raised 250 books of books with a goal of 1,000 books by 2024. The boys are in the process of applying for official nonprofit status, Sahm said. Taguchi, from Oakland, a student at Head-Royce Private School in Oakland Hills.

“Why wouldn’t these children (in Mexico) have the same opportunities? Taguchi asked. “I’ve been to Cabo my whole life. I wanted a way to help, being literate in English with a love of reading. The love of reading helps us all, creates perspective.

Taguchi favors reading about finance, corporate structures and Wall Street. Taguchi crew member and friend Senmaru Hrncrik-Maruyama is based in Cabo San Lucas, the resort town at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, and loves music, classic movies and literary classics. .

Taguchi’s other friend, Piedmont resident Josh Majteles, has been friends with Taguchi since third grade and enjoys reading fantasy books such as “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings” series. Majteles said Head-Royce encourages students to be community-minded.

“We hope to inspire other children to take similar action,” said Josh Majteles, above, from Piedmont. (photo courtesy of the Good Books Foundation)

“We struggle to get many opportunities to do as much good as possible,” Majteles said. “We’re raising capital and books from the Bay Area and shipping it to Cabo where we’re in partnership with (Mexican non-profit educational group) Liga MAC.”

Taguchi found the organization through research. Liga MAC since 1997 has promoted educational support to thousands of people in Cabo, mostly students, with uniforms, shoes, tuition and school supplies. They were happy to help Taguchi in its mission to provide books for all grade levels, he said. Taguchi said many federal taxpayers do not pay state income tax.

“This leads to underfunding of non-essential programs like English books and libraries. We fulfill this role. English is the most used language and the United States has the best universities.

“Good Books gives underserved children a way to learn English through a myriad of books ranging from picture books to classic American novels.”

The boys had had trouble getting their donated books across the border to Cabo San Lucas.

“It cost about $200 to ship 100 books,” Taguchi said. “We were trying to find other ways to get the books to Cabo, through shipping companies like UPS or Amazon. The main problem was the means of distribution. It was like a gift from God,” that La Liga MAC apparently greased the wheels of trade for the boys.

Majteles shared his enthusiasm for the project.

“Our organization is very valuable. He has his own niche. Being literate is the foundation of a successful college career,” Majteles said. “These children are caught in a cycle of poverty, trying to succeed in a world that prevents them from succeeding.

“What we do is important. You don’t see people our age doing things like that. It’s good to volunteer at a food bank, but we wanted to do more. We hope to inspire other children to take similar action. Reading books is kind of an endangered species and we can help change that. »

Rob Majteles, his father, is extremely proud of his son’s efforts.

“We are delighted to see him jump like this. He never asked us about it, he just started creating it,” the senior Majteles said. “He pledged through his friendship (with Sahm) to do more. He sang to Josh. He was driven his way of doing things – grabbing books, calling people. What I love about this kid , is that (he realizes) that this kind of reading project matters to everyone. A big lesson that we can all do more, light up a dark room. Just do it.”

For more information, visit goodbooksfoundation.com online.

Linda Davis is a longtime correspondent in Piedmont. Reach her with topical advice or feedback at [email protected]

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