BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — One teacher is taking matters into his own hands to ensure Louisiana’s next generation of kids can read, but he needs your help.

“I do love reading, but it is really just teaching kids and giving them the tools to love reading the way I do,” Neal Herbert emphasized.

Neal Herbert is an English teacher at Collegiate Baton Rouge. He’s on a mission to provide more books to his classroom that students are actually interested in reading. But there’s just one problem, he needs to raise 2,000 dollars to make it happen.

“I would like to raise as much as people are willing to give because I will spend every penny of it on books, we have kids that are asking for books and I don’t have them to give” he explained.

Hebert has taught high school students for seven years. As an English teacher, he has seen the challenges Louisiana faces with reading.

“Most of the books on my list are written at an adult reading level Because the fastest way to get better at reading is to read something harder than you’re prepared to read,” he said.

But he said it’s a skill you simply have to have.

“Finding ways to engage all of them and make them see themselves and literature is really important to me. To see both yourself in literature and to see people who are different from you in literature will help you bridge different gaps,” Hebert continued.

He said he remembers being younger and reading books with main characters that look like him, but they were simply not interesting.

“And I thought like, man, what if I had had a teacher that had done their research and figured out the kind of books I would like and just had them for me.”

And he is doing just that.

“I want to fill my four and a half empty bookshelves with books that my students will love, with books that they can see themselves in, with plots that when they tell each other about what they read, kids are going to be like, I’ve got to read that. If we can get kids to enjoy reading and to think of it as something fun, then we’ve done our job right,” he said.

You can help Hebert reach his goal by donating to his GoFundMe here or by buying books on his Amazon wishlist here.