Sandy Chin, Tidal Bore Capital’s Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager, saw a need for the children at a special public elementary school in New York City’s West Side to be provided with books to read over the summer. The William T. Harris School, known as PS 11, includes two low-income housing projects, and it would be a financial burden for their parents to have to buy the books. The PTA is already active in raising money to purchase necessary school supplies at no cost to the families.
The school summer break lasts for three months, and with no books to read, many students will actually backslide a reading grade level. Although many public libraries have summer reading programs for students, a majority of those low-income kids don’t have the chance to go to the library. In addition, actually owning a book is like a treasure to most children as they can hold and touch it and re-read it as often as they want.
Sandy Chin put together a volunteer “PS11 book drive team,” and they held a “Books, Boxes & Bodies” effort in June of 2018. Their goal was to hopefully get enough used books donated to give each kindergartener several books to call their own and to read over the summer break. The overwhelming response was the donation of more than 3,500 books! That meant that the students in all the other grades got to do the same.
Students loved being able to choose their own books, but it was frustrating if they chose some beyond their reading levels. Sandy, together with teachers and parents, sorted the books according to their grade and level before distributing them to the children.
After over 20 years in various financial sectors, Sandy Chin now runs a hedge fund company of her own along with a business partner, Bill Leach. However, she knows the excitement of reading and owning books because she fell in love with them when she was just a young child. She still has a penchant for English literature, fantasy, and science fiction. She shares her passion for books with her son and daughter and feels that they are living tributes to the power of reading.
With the tremendous success of that first book drive, it will now become an annual event at PS 11. It is hoped that other schools will follow that fine example.