The Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) hosted its first book drive on Independence Day in John Dial.
The initiative was organised by the PDP's unsuccessful candidate for Bacolet/Mt St George, Megan Morrison.
The drive, which was free to all Tobagonians, started at 11am and ended 6pm.
It provided approximately a 1,000 books from the pre-school level right up to tertiary ahead of the September 6 reopening of schools. There were also fiction books, inspirational books, religious books and stationery available.
Morrison told Newsday on Wednesday, "One person in the community reached out for help and we realised there was a genuine need that needed to be filled."
Morrison said she began making calls soliciting donations for the drive.
PDP deputy leader Farley Augustine described the event as a tremendous success.
"At one point in the morning, we had to ask people to stand back and wait because we ended up having a crowd."
Morrison said many parents said there will be a second edition on Sunday as some parents said they were unaware of the drive.
"We intend to make it an annual event," she said.
At the book drive on Tuesday, Augustine stressed the importance of reading.
"Having it on Independence Day is such an apt decision in that, the nation's first prime minister (Dr Eric Williams) did tell us the future of our nation is in our children's book bags. If our children's book bags are empty, or if its filled with knives and guns, or only filled with video games, then we know that we have a difficult future ahead."
He urged families to read together and parents to show the children a positive example.
"When a child is at school, the entire family is at a school. That is the way it works to be successful. The child can't be studying and your music loud. The child can't be studying and you watching TV. When you come to pick up textbooks, pick up a novel for yourself. The entire family has to be engaged in this thing called education.
"At the end of the day, we want what's best for our children. Our education system is not perfect but this is what we have at the moment, so we have to make use of what we have – until I become the next chief secretary and fix the system."
Augustine said he planned to grab two fiction books for himself as "you cannot be a leader and not be a reader."
He praised Morrison and her team for the initiative.
Morrison said even though she was not successful in the January 25 THA election, she remains active in the community.
"I was never involved just because of politics. People are reaching out to me. They are looking at me still for service.
"Election or no election, community work and charity work have been part of my life," she said.