Many of you are familiar with Kay H, from Greenville, who manages our BookMooching activities and receives the majority of our mail-in book donations. What a blessing Kay has been to Books for Keeps! Here is her take on her first Books for Keeps distribution event.Thank you Kay!

I was given the opportunity to help out with this year’s first distribution of books at Alps Road Elementary School. I’ve been requesting and receiving books for Books for Keeps from the BookMooch account, where over the last six months, over 3,000 books have been collected. It’s been fun, but a lot of work sometimes and the chance to see the next step in the process was exciting.

It was unbelievably rewarding. I wish that every one of you who has collected books for Books for Keeps, who has scoured thrift stores and begged books from friends and relatives, every one of you who has carefully packaged up and mailed books or donated points, could see how excited the kids were about getting to choose twelve books for themselves, to read and to keep.

Thank you all for the care you took to find books in good shape and to find the right books. It matters. The kids were so varied in their reactions; some leaped for the Captain Underpants or Goosebumps books, some were overwhelmed by the choice and needed someone to guide them carefully through selecting their books, and some knew exactly what they wanted and were willing to ask for help finding it.

After choosing their books, the kids would gather to count and compare their books, volunteers there to discuss why they had chosen the books they had. The kids were excited to show their friends what they had found and often their friends‘ reactions would make their own choices more valuable to them.

The experience was wonderful. It felt like the book fairs I have seen at my children’s school, but here every kid got to pick twelve books. Everyone was equally included, from the confident readers, to the many who were not. I hope that the excitement they felt will be carried home with their books and that those books will be a small step in preventing summer slide.