FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Books for Keeps to Raise 82,044 Books for Athens Elementary Students

Athens, Ga. – Oct. 4, 2011 – Athens non-profit Books for Keeps announced today it will attempt to raise 82,044 books for Athens children by May 2012. “Our 2011 elementary school program provided 12,000 books to 1,000 children,” said Books for Keeps founder Melaney Smith. “We keep thinking about the thousands of kids we didn’t reach. We decided to go for it – let’s reach them all in 2012.”

To raise funds for this ambitious goal, Books for Keeps is holding a book sale October 21-23 at Stiles Properties, 1658 South Lumpkin Street, in Five Points next to Local Jam. “We’re selling the books we can’t use for our program to raise funds for the books we need,” said Smith. “We have thousands of books for adults and kids, and they’ll be priced to sell.” Donors are encouraged to bring books for the youth program or the book sale to Books for Keeps’ Drop-Off Day, Saturday October 15th from 9am-12pm at 1658 South Lumpkin Street.

Books for Keeps gives books to students in pre-K through 12th grade to prevent an academic achievement loss known as summer slide. “Research has shown that kids who don’t read during the summer often return to school lagging 2-3 months behind their classmates,” said UGA reading researcher and Books for Keeps board member Dr. Jennifer Graff. “The gap compounds every year, often affecting children from low-income families at an alarmingly disproportionate rate. By giving books directly to kids, we enable them to read all summer and hopefully mitigate summer slide.”

The organization is poised for success in 2012. Books for Keeps received its IRS certification as a public charity this [...]