Local Black Belts Collect Books

Westchase Impact Martial Arts teamed up with two local kids, Chase Hartman, 13, of “read.repeat.” and Zach Hartman, 9, of Zach’s Planet, to run a book drive for Title 1 Schools’ Summer Reading Packs. The week-long event ran during Florida’s Celebrate Literacy Week in January. Students were encouraged to bring in gently used books. The drive collected more than 2100 books.

“It’s important to me that I teach my students the responsibility of helping in their communities,” said Alexey Petrov, Owner of Impact Martial Arts. “I’m pleased so many participated in the book drive and we collected a lot of books in a short amount of time.”

Four local kids exceeded expectations and came in the top positions winning samurai swords and gift cards to Barnes and Noble. Dakota Robitaille won first place by collecting 1135 books. Second Place went to Connor Lofley who brought in 192 books. Allen Hodzic and Ava Iannotta came in Third and Fourth Places.

Black Belt, Chase Hartman created “read.repeat.” more than two years ago with his friend, Vance Tomasi. They’ve since distributed over 90,000 books in 50 states and have raised over $27,000 in grants for books for local children. Third-Recommended Black Belt, Zach Hartman started Zach’s Planet two years ago in an effort to keep items out of landfills. He has since distributed 20,000 books to local schools, hospitals and libraries.

“Each year we box up thousands of books and deliver them to Title 1 Schools in Hillsborough County to make Summer Reading Packs,” said Zach Hartman, creator of Zach’s Planet. “Many of the kids we give books to don’t own any of their own. They get so excited when they know they get to keep the books.”

Westchase Impact Martial Arts, under the direction of 6th Degree Black Belt, Alexey Petrov, has been in business for over a decade and is located at 13038, Race Track Road, Tampa.

More information can be found at ZachsPlanet.com, readrepeat.org and WestchaseIMA.com.

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