Book drive stocks shelves at pediatric ward

Decatur High School senior Megan Hestir aims to collect 500 children’s books to donate to the pediatric ward at Good Samaritan Hospital.   - Margo Hoffman/The Mirror
Decatur High School senior Megan Hestir aims to collect 500 children’s books to donate to the pediatric ward at Good Samaritan Hospital.
— image credit: Margo Hoffman/The Mirror

Megan Hestir isn’t just listening to her social studies lesson this year — she’s doing it.

Hestir, a senior at Decatur High School, is organizing a children’s book drive to fulfill a one-half senior social studies credit that she needs to graduate. Although independent study classes are not common for high school students, teacher Erin Thorne said Hestir was a good candidate because she is a motivated student — and that her rigorous schedule of advanced placement classes and extracurricular activities demanded flexibility.

Hestir and Thorne worked together to create the book drive project and donate the books to Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup. The pair aimed to focus the project on current events.

“Social studies is more than looking back at the past. I think you have to look at now and in the future,” Thorne said. “Social studies is doing. It’s taking the knowledge and doing with the knowledge.”

Hestir said she chose a book drive because she is passionate about reading. Her mother, a nurse at Good Samaritan, mentioned a new pediatric ward at the hospital could use books.

The books will be kept in a family room area in the pediatric ward. They will be available to patients and their families. Some patients will be allowed to take the books home with them.

Hestir aims to collect 500 new and gently used books for children ranging in age from toddlers to pre-teens.

Ronn Goodnough, a pediatrics manager at Good Samaritan, said books can improve a child’s experience at the hospital.

“If a child is not feeling well, sometimes having a book that interests them kind of engages them and distracts them and takes away from the frustration of being in a hospital room... especially if they’re fun books for the kids,” he said.

Contact Margo Hoffman: or (253) 925-5565.

Book donations will be accepted at the following Federal Way locations until Nov. 6: Brigadoon Elementary School, 3601 S.W. 336th St.; West Campus Music Center, 32042 23rd Ave. S. and Decatur High School, 2800 S.W. 320th St.

For more information, e-mail

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