Monthly Archives: January 2019

2019 Distributions are coming soon!

Mark your calendars now, because 2019 Book Distributions are coming soon! Are you ready to be a part of something truly special? Are you ready to help us share the power of reading with thousands of students?! With your help, we’ll once more be giving away nearly 95,000 books to children at 18 schools in Athens, Atlanta, Warrenton, and Elberton. This is your chance to experience the joy of helping students in your community pick out 12 free books for summer – for keeps!  School-specific volunteer shifts will be coming soon, but official distribution dates have been finalized!

If you are part of a group (8 to 15 people) that would like to adopt and work an entire shift at a particular school, let us know now so that we can coordinate with you to reserve a shift. Email Program Manager
Justin Bray at

April 16-18, 2019: Elbert County Elementary School- Elberton, GA

April 18-19, 2019: Dunbar Elementary School- Atlanta, GA

April 22-23, 2019: Fowler Drive Elementary School- Athens, GA

April 24, 2019: Downtown Academy- Athens, GA

April 25, 2019: Benteen Elementary School- Atlanta, GA

April 26 & 29, 2019: Gaines Elementary School- Athens, GA

April 29-30, 2019: Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School- Athens, GA

April 30 & May 1, 2019: Winterville Elementary School- Athens, GA

May 1-2, 2019: Barnett Shoals Elementary School- Athens, GA

May 2-3 & 6, 2019: Whitehead Road Elementary School- Athens, GA

May 3, 2019: Cleveland Road Elementary School- Athens, GA

May 6-7, 2019: Elbert County Primary School- Elberton, GA

May 7-8, 2019: J.J. Harris Elementary School- Athens, GA

May 8, 2019: Freeman Elementary School- Warrenton, GA

May 9-10, 2019: Stroud Elementary School- Athens, GA

May 10 & 13, 2019: Barrow Elementary School- Athens, GA

May 13-14, 2019: Alps Road Elementary School- Athens, GA

May 15-16, 2019: Whit Davis Elementary School- Athens, GA

We look forward to seeing you at distributions!

Meet board member, Marne Matthews!

(part of a new monthly series)

How did you first hear or learn about Books for Keeps?

I first learned about Books for Keeps from a former Board Member, Joe Hill, who suggested I volunteer during Book Distribution.  I was immediately sold!  I loved seeing the excitement of the kids who were getting books.  It was like we were giving away candy, but we were giving them books!

Why did you choose to serve on the Books for Keeps’ board?

I am a huge advocate of early childhood reading and truly believe teaching kids to read – and to love books – at an early age sets them up for the rest of their lives.   Books for Keeps does just that.  By letting children who may not have access to books choose books based on their interests, I believe it teaches them to enjoy reading.  It is important to separate required reading in schools from reading for pleasure.

Have you worked with other non-profits in the past? Which ones?  

I have been involved with many non profit organizations in Athens.  My primary focus has been United Way of NE Georgia where I volunteered over 25 years and served a Chairman of the Board for three years.  Before that, I served in several roles including Campaign Chair  and Womens Leadership Chair.  I am a huge supporter of the Dolly Pardon Imagination Library program managed by United Way in Athens that also supports early childhood reading.  I believe the DPIL progrtam and Books for Keeps compliment each other and provide all of the kids in Athens Clarke County the reading opportunities they need to be successful  in school and in life.

What strengths are you bringing to Books for Keeps?  

I retired from Athens First [...]