The students have spoken! We pored over our exit surveys, taken by volunteers from students in over 100 classes in kindergarten through fifth grade. One of the questions we ask the students every year “What would you like that we didn’t have?”One of the top 2 answers: Graphic NovelsThe good news: we know exactly which graphic novel series they want to read.The bad news: the majority of them are so far out of our price range, we have almost no hope of obtaining them, especially not in the quantities we need to satisfy 2,000+ students!The list is short but sweet (although there are multiple titles in each series), and includes the lowest price available to us from our partners, First Book (FB) and Scholastic Literacy Partners (SLP).Bone – Jeff Smith ($6.26, SLP)Amulet – Kazu Kuibishi ($7, SLP) Big Nate – Lincoln Peirce ($5.67, SLP)Goosebumps Graphix – RL Stine ($5.69, SLP)Bad Kitty – Nick Bruel ($2.99, SLP)Babymouse – Matt & Jennifer Holm ($2.80, FB) Fashion Kitty – Charise Harper($1.55, FB)We try our hardest to stay at or below $1 per book when we purchase, although we occasionally hit the $2 range if a truly amazing deal comes along on high-demand titles. There’s just no way to get all the books we need if we spend more than that, so we have to sacrifice these super-popular categories completely. Books for Keeps’ history is filled with stories of impossible things that became possible when the right person came along and said “I am somebody, I can do something.” So I’m throwing this out in the universe… we’ll see what happens. Any ideas?Stay tuned for more posts as we finish analyzing [...]
This 2-minute video does the best job of explaining summer slide. It makes me want to work harder, faster, for Athens children. Wanna help?–Melaney
Every May we empty our inventory – and our bank account. We’re re-building our funds in preparation for purchasing thousands of books at deep discounts, thanks to the generous support of the individuals, organizations and companies listed below. (If your name is missing, get in touch… we couldn’t reach some donors to obtain permission.)”The Game-Changers”These companies and organizations made unique contributions during times of critical need that greatly expanded Books for Keeps’ reach. Words hardly suffice, but here’s one that comes to mind: GRATITUDE. A rainstorm and a collapsed roof. Not an ideal situation for 10,000 books. Fire and Flavor came to the rescue, offering us not only warehouse space, but the use of their industrial shelving, pallets and forklift. Instead of carrying boxes of books across a parking lot, up a step, and through 3 sets of doors, we now load them straight onto pallets from a loading dock. Fire and Flavor, what a blessing you are to Books for Keeps! First Book is making thousands of books available to Books for Keeps at rock bottom prices. We’ve purchased thousands of picture books for $.45 each, and the 2,000 NatGeo Kids books we got for $1 each were student favorites during our 2012 elementary school program. Our latest fave: 1,700 brand new Disney books for $1,000. That’s under $.60 per book!BookMooch and its members helped Books for Keeps get its start by donating points to their book swapping site, and they’re still donating today. Three years later, BookMooch members are still some of our biggest supporters.2013 Program Sponsors ($500-$5,000 in support)These generous donors contributed significant funding for our 2013 Stop Summer Slide! program. As a result, we’ll reach more students, and provide more high-demand books [...]
Books for Keeps started as one woman’s effort to help a little girl who loved to read but didn’t own a single book. Here’s our story, told in founder Melaney Smith’s own words. Books for Keeps from Mt. Bethel UMC on Vimeo.Athens children from low-income families are victims of a problem that’s been documented for decades and compounds each year of a child’s education: summer slide. By 6th grade, many of them will be 2 years behind their classmates achievement-wise – a gap that’s nearly impossible to overcome and severely limits their educational and employment prospects.There’s a solution: give them books. Our program is research-based and designed keep children reading all summer long, regardless of their proximity to a library or parental involvement. It’s been proven effective at ending summer slide.