Burlington County teen collects more than 5,000 books to build high school library

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Burlington County teen is making the local community 'Philly Proud.'

She started a donation drive to help a local high school desperately in need of books.

Capri Mills, 16, set a goal to collect 2,020 books in 2020.

The Shawnee High School student started this project in March, during the pandemic. She wanted to help build a library at One Bright Ray Community Adult High School in Strawberry Mansion.

On Friday, she dropped off more than 5,000 books, more than double what she dreamed. She delivered them on a school bus.

"I think it's wonderful," Capri said. "I think everyone should read, and it's just absolutely great that these books are getting out to these people who need it."

"She's a teenager, and she's been bagging books every night for the last nine months," said Jack Mills, Capri's father. "We are beaming with a sense of awe of her spirit and her positive energy. One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is: 'Life's biggest question: what are you doing for others?'"

One Bright Ray is a diploma-granting alternative high school program for adult students.

This massive donation will fill their library and set the students up for success.

"It was a tremendous honor to find out that we were getting such a beautiful gift from such a kind person, such a kind family in such a kind community," said Arkadiy Yelman, the principal of One Bright Ray's evening program. "I know that it's going to do a tremendous amount of good here."

Capri says she read a lot of the books she collected while she was waiting to donate them.

She had been storing them in her family home in Medford, New Jersey.

While her mom is happy to see them get to their final destination, Capri is already busy thinking of her next service project.
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