Books are a really big help


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Hello! My name is Kelly J. VanPatten, and I am writing to explain both why books assist me and other prisoners, and how books improve our quality of life. All the books we receive not only assist us in personal growth, but also give us valuable materials that allow us to use our time more constructively and positively.

Personally, books have given me valuable skills. My ability to write, read and communicate ideas has improved. I no longer struggle to express myself.

Further, books are an excellent educational tool. Many of us are not high school graduates, have low readings skills, and struggle comprehending our GED materials, so reading [donated books] is one way to improve in the area of reading and comprehension in our classes.

I have received carpentry books, a dictionary, and a thesaurus. These books are great! I'm learning a new job skill I can use once I get out [of prison]. Plus, I have increased by vocabulary.

These books are a really big help. I know that they really help me. They are not just sitting in my locker, either. When I finish with them, I share them. So please, if you can, continue to send books to me and other inmates.

-Submitted by Kelly J. VanPatten
Deer Ridge Correctional Institute, Oregon


Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful letter!! It makes me weep to think that so many people in our society do not take time to think about the issues that greatly impact our lives like the building of prisons and the closings of schools and wht the relationship is between the two.

We need to re-think what is impt. in our daily lives....seeking instant gratification or seeking a quality of life for oursleves and others in our community. I'm afraid we are losing ourselves in a value-less society.

Volunteering has made my life much richer and my work around prison abolition has been rewarding and I hope to encourage more people in my community to find an issue they are passionate about and give some time each week or month to and volunteer. It isn't money that will make our society is our time and attention that will make a great society.