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Meet our newest class-level sponsor!

If you haven’t been following our website closely, you may have missed some of our newest- and recently renewed- class-level sponsors for 2017! Though we can never truly express the extent of our gratitude, we are going to give it a shot.

After wrapping up our biggest round of distributions ever – with 74,000 books distributed to 6,200 children in four counties – we find ourselves reflecting on those individuals and companies whose support is so important in helping us reach those children. Our program – from the early days through this latest round of expansion – has been built on those people who step up and give a dollar to help buy a book, or $30 to sponsor a child, or $600 to sponsor a class.

This post will highlight the class sponsors that came on board or renewed in 2016-17 to help make this year’s program a reality. Look for more posts soon about our grade-level sponsors and some of our very special school sponsors!

Most recently, we’ve been honored to have Redfin as our newest class-level sponsor. Redfin reached out to our executive director, Leslie Hale, directly to learn more about how they could help Books for Keeps accomplish our goals – after being referred by an Atlanta-area Redfin agent. Welcome to the BFK family, Redfin!

Other class-level sponsors that renewed or came on board within the last program year:

IDology
Willard & Patti Hale
Sharon Jenkins
Lois & Lucy Lampkin Foundation
Kay Cook
JOMA Construction
Diane & Frank Klonowski
Coca-Cola Enterprises
Leon Farmer and Company
John & Katie Goette
Classic City Orthodontics
Sheneka Williams
Georgia Power
The Winthrop Foundation of Athens, GA

By |June 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Meet our newest class-level sponsor!|

Have you met our partner volunteer organizations?!

We are so thankful to all the wonderful organizations that came out to volunteer during 2017 distributions! Did you know that over a dozen individual groups came out to help make our distribution season a special experience for everyone? We are so grateful to be partnered with so many organizations and companies from our community that love to give back that we want to highlight those special partners:

Morgan and Morgan, Attorneys at Law
First Presbyterian Church of Athens
Avid Bookshop
United Way of Greater Atlanta
Athens Housing and Community Development
Sigma Tau Delta of University of North Georgia
House Electric
United Way of Northeast Georgia
Community Partnership of Elbert County
First Book UGA
Family Connection-Communities in Schools of Warren County
Allstate Agents (from Athens and Atlanta)
Northeast Georgia RESA
Classic City Rotary Club
Ethicon (Cornelia, GA location)
Georgia-Pacific Partners (from Warrenton and Warm Springs)

 

Thank you once more to all of these incredible organizations and community members who helped make this year’s distribution season the most successful yet!

By |June 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Have you met our partner volunteer organizations?!|

7 ways YOU can help keep the good going

Were you or a friend able to make it out to book distributions this year?  We’re so grateful to you for being a part of the story. And there are always opportunities to be involved. We want to share with you seven additional ways you can support and stay involved with Books for Keeps:

Complete our volunteer survey here and tell us about your experience. We want to know what we’re doing well and how we can do better as we work to reach more children together!

Tell 10 people about Books for Keeps and the magic you witnessed with us! Leverage your social media networks by sharing our Facebook page or Twitter and Instagram feeds.

Give, and invite two other people to give. The cost to sponsor a child is just $30 – or $600 to sponsor a classroom. And we can do so much with any amount in between! We have new monthly giving options available through our website so you can stretch your impact across the whole year. Now is a critical time for us, as we close out our fiscal year-end on June 30 and pay all final bills on the books we gave away!

Check for matching donation programs through your employer. Many companies will double your donation.

Rate us on greatnonprofits.org and share your story of joy, excitement, and the magic of reading with fellow volunteers across Athens. (You can also review us on Facebook!)
Host a book drive through your church, civic group, or business. Any books, for children or adults, that we can’t use in our program go to our annual BFK Book Sale.
Sign up for our newsletter to keep up with us throughout the year, learn about other [...]

By |June 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 7 ways YOU can help keep the good going|

2017 BFK distribution shifts are now open for individual sign-ups!

It’s that time – sign up to volunteer to help us give away 72,000 books this spring!

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for here at Books for Keeps – distribution time! And this year is our biggest distribution season yet. We’ve been working the past 11 months toward giving away 72,000 books to 6,000 kids in Athens, Atlanta, Warrenton, and Elberton this spring!

Join fellow volunteers by helping children select and count their books, and record their feedback about our book selection. This is the ultimate volunteer experience! Share in the joy of a Books for Keeps distribution by signing up to volunteer with us.

No special skills are required; training is provided in the first 10 minutes of each shift – so the most important requirement is to show up on time! To sign up as an individual, go to our sign-up.com page!

If you are part of a group that would like to adopt an entire shift (8 to 12 volunteers), please email Leslie Hale to sign up. Available shifts will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign-ups are now open to the general public, so if there’s a special school or special day when you’d like to volunteer, please don’t delay!

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Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School – Athens, GA
Monday, April 24th: 7:50 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. (ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT) | 11:45 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. (SHIFT FULL)
Tuesday, April 25th: 9:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. (SHIFT FULL) | 12:20 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. (SHIFT FULL)

Barnett Shoals Elementary School – Athens, GA
Wednesday, April 26th: 8:15 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. (SHIFT FULL) | 11:10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (SHIFT FULL)
Thursday, April 27th: 9:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.(SHIFT FULL) | 11:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. (SHIFT FULL)

Winterville [...]

By |April 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2017 BFK distribution shifts are now open for individual sign-ups!|

2017 BFK distribution shifts are open for group sign-ups!

It’s that time – sign up to volunteer with your group and help us give away 72,000 books this spring!

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for here at Books for Keeps – distribution time! And this year is our biggest distribution season yet. We’ve been working the past 11 months toward giving away 72,000 books to 6,000 kids in Athens, Atlanta, Warrenton, and Elberton this spring!

Join fellow volunteers by helping children select and count their books, and record their feedback about our book selection. This is the ultimate volunteer experience! Share in the joy of a Books for Keeps distribution by signing up to volunteer with us.

No special skills are required; training is provided in the first 10 minutes of each shift – so the most important requirement is to show up on time! We are not quite ready to sign up individuals for shifts – those spots will open during the first week of April (so stay in the loop by signing up for our newsletter!)

If you are part of a group that would like to adopt an entire shift (8 to 12 volunteers), please email Leslie Hale to sign up. Available shifts will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign-ups will open to the general public (and individuals) during the first week of April, so if there’s a special school or special day when you’d like to volunteer, please don’t delay!

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Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School – Athens, GA
Monday, April 24th: 7:50 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. | 11:45 a.m. – 1:50 p.m.
Tuesday, April 25th: 9:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. | 12:20 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

Barnett Shoals Elementary School – Athens, GA
Wednesday, April 26th: 8:15 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. | 11:10 a.m. – [...]

By |March 28th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2017 BFK distribution shifts are open for group sign-ups!|

It’s Book Drive time! (Updated)

The Books for Keeps bi-annual book drive is happening now!
Twice a year, Books for Keeps organizes community-wide book drives to help collect books for both our program and our annual book sale. We would like to thank our partner organizations who are hosting book drives currently:

Athens First Bank & Trust
UGA American Medical Student Association
Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful
Sigma Tau Delta at UNG
Girl Scout Troop 12050
Rocky Branch Elementary School
Ebenezer Baptist Church West
Friends and Neighbors of Camilla Bracewell
First Presbyterian Church
Junior League of Athens
Double Helix STEAM School
Allstate Insurance, Merryn Walker
Clarke Central High School
Friends and Neighbors of Mary Madden
Leon Farmer & Company
Pi Beta Phi at UGA
Learning Ally
Friends and Neighbors of Gina Gallois

If you or your friends and family have books to donate, feel free to drop them off at one of these sites that are open to the public. Note- the Clarke County High School and Double Helix donation sites are only available to students and staff.

Book drives are a critical part of what we do, and they would not be possible without your help. And don’t be discouraged- there’s never a bad time to host a book drive! Though we organize community-wide book drives twice a year, we are happy to help coordinate a book drive at any point during the year, as we are always accepting donations. (And if you can’t make it to one of these locations – or have books to donate during another time of year – our community-wide drop-off sites are always accepting books!)

Email info@booksforkeeps.org if you’re interested [...]

By |March 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on It’s Book Drive time! (Updated)|

Cedar Shoals High School needs your help!

Our friend and colleague Katie Johnson, a teacher with the Cedar Shoals Freshman Transition Camp, needs books!

If you have any gently used copies of these books to donate, you can drop them off a Cedar Shoals High School or mail them, ATTN: Katie Johnson. The address is: 1300 Cedar Shoals Dr, Athens, GA 30605. Thanks for your help reaching these students with thought-provoking, high-interest books as they make their move to high school – from Books for Keeps, from Cedar Shoals, and from the students!

Here is the list of what is needed:
Yummy by G. Neri
Playground by 50 Cent
Fist Stick Knife Gun (the graphic novel version) by Geoffrey Canada
Love Don’t Live Here No More: Doggy Tales Vol 1 by Snoop Dogg
Hey Ya; The Unauthorized Biography of Outcast by Chris Nickson
Forged by Fire by Sharon Draper
The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexis
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Also needed by in smaller quantities:
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez

In summer 2016, Cedar Shoals hosted this summer program to help students transition into high school. Part of this program was handing out lexile-level-appropriate books to students entering 9th grade at feeder middle schools, Hilsman and Coile. Before camp began, students had to read their assigned book. Once at camp, students were organized into groups by what book they were assigned to read, and [...]

By |March 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Cedar Shoals High School needs your help!|

Save-the-date for 2017 distributions!

It’s time to save the date for 2017 Books for Keeps distributions, and this year is our biggest yet! With help from our wonderful volunteers, we’ll be giving away nearly 75,000 books to more than 6,000 children at a record 15 schools in Athens, Atlanta, Warrenton, and Elberton. This is your chance to experience the joy of students eager to pick out 12 free books for summer- and for keeps!

School-specific volunteer shifts will be scheduled in March, and we will announce when they have been finalized. If you are an individual who would like to volunteer at a specific school, please mark your calendar!

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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 or on a specific day, please email Louis Crow to reserve a shift for your group.

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April 24-25, 2017: Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School- Athens, GA
April 26-27, 2017: Barnett Shoals Elementary School- Athens, GA
April 28, 2017: Winterville Elementary School- Winterville, GA
May 1-2, 2017: Gaines Elementary School- Athens, GA
May 2, 2017: Alps Road Elementary School- Athens, GA
May 3-4, 2017: Howard B. Stroud Elementary School- Athens, GA
May 4, 2017: Downtown Academy- Athens, GA
May 5, 2017: M. E. Freeman Elementary School- Warrenton, GA
May 8-9, 2017: Elbert County Primary School- Elberton, GA
May 10, 11 and 15, 2017: Whitehead Road Elementary School- Athens, GA
May 12, 2017: Cleveland Road Elementary School- Athens, GA
May 15-16, 2017: Fowler Drive Elementary School- Athens, GA
May 17-18, 2017: J.J. Harris Elementary School- Athens, GA
May 19, 2017: Dunbar Elementary School- Atlanta, GA
May 23, 2017: Benteen Elementary School- Atlanta, GA

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We look forward to seeing you [...]

By |February 8th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Save-the-date for 2017 distributions!|

BFK is hiring (again)!

It’s been a remarkable year for Books for Keeps – we added our second employee, two-and-a-half years after BFK Executive Director was first hired in 2013. We added a new school, our first since 2014, and are deep into preparations to add four new schools in 2017.

We’re so not done growing.

Books for Keeps is excited to announce the addition of two part-time positions, to begin work in early 2017. These positions, an administrative assistant and a communications manager, could be combined into a single position depending on an individual’s resume and experience.

Check out the administrative assistant job description here and the communications manager job description here.

These positions will help Books for Keeps scale up, get stronger and smarter with the use of the executive director’s and program manager’s time, and enable us to start reaching 14 new schools over the next three years. Have questions? Just email Leslie directly: leslie@booksforkeeps.org.

Oh, and here are a few numbers from 2016:

By |December 7th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on BFK is hiring (again)!|

BFK welcomes Louis Crow as new program manager

It is with much excitement that we announce the hiring of Louis Crow, who will join Books for Keeps as program manager next month when Rachel Watkins steps down.

Louis comes to Books for Keeps after having earned his Bachelor of Social Work degree from UGA. Louis has deep roots here, born and raised in Athens and a graduate of Clarke County Schools. He has a background in mentoring children with Project Safe, serving Athens’ aging adults with the Athens Community Council on Aging, and volunteering with Community Connection in assessing local needs. In his free time, Louis enjoys woodworking and spending time with his wife and pets.

Louis joins Books for Keeps as the organization is on the cusp of a 14-school expansion over the next three years. Louis’ primary responsibilities will be managing volunteers and fostering relationships with the schools and districts where Books for Keeps serves. He will additionally help grow Books for Keeps’ relationships with publishers as the organization broadens its selection and inventory, toward a goal of giving away 140,000 books annually by 2019. Welcome, Louis!

Outgoing Program Manager Rachel Watkins, who joined the Books for Keeps team in January of this year, is moving on to help Athens partner Avid Bookshop establish a second location in the Five Points neighborhood. Rachel will be missed, and has promised to come back as a volunteer next spring. Best of luck, Rachel!

By |October 25th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on BFK welcomes Louis Crow as new program manager|