Two Bay area 5th graders have launched an effort to get books in the hands of people who need them.

  • Two Mary Bryant 5th graders donated 1,400 gently used books
  • Chase Hartman and Vance Tomasi wanted to encourage other students to love reading as much as they do

Friday, Chase Hartman and Vance Tomasi donated 1,400 gently used books to students at Robles Elementary in Tampa. Each student at the school picked one book to take home.

The initiative is called 'read.repeat.'

Hartman and Tomasi, both students at Mary Bryant Elementary, kicked off the effort earlier this summer after learning some children weren't fortunate enough to own books themselves.

"Let's share our love of reading and give back to the community," said Hartman. "It goes hand-in-hand."

The students at Robles were excited to see all the books.

"I love to read," said Robles Elementary 5th grader Janiya Smith.

"I think this is awesome," said Assistant Principal Beverly Bowden-Humbert. "These young boys should be commended for what they're doing at our school."

Hartman and Tomasi have also delivered books to hospitals, libraries and nursing homes. Their goal is to donate 20,000 books throughout the community.