Buy Preview Night tickets

BFK Book Sale Preview Night
Get first crack at our amazing selection of used books – thousands of titles priced from 50 cents to $3.

Tickets – for Preview Night only – are $10. All preview night patrons will be entered into a door prize basket that includes autographed copies of books by local authors and a hand-made quilt (for snuggling up with a good book!) Can’t attend but still want to make a donation? Your name will be entered into a drawing for the door prize anyway.


By |July 24th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Buy Preview Night tickets|

Distribution time is here – sign up to volunteer!

It’s that time of year when our hearts swell. It’s like Christmas, and we get to feel like Santa Claus, giving more than 45,000 books away to children all over Athens, Atlanta, and Warrenton.

Join us as we help children select and count their books and record their feedback on 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! Sign up for a shift at handsonnortheastgeorgia.org.

If you are part of a group that would like to adopt an entire shift, please email Leslie Hale to sign them up: leslie.hale@booksforkeeps.org.

Monday, April 27 – 7:55-11:30 a.m. and 12-1:45 p.m. (p.m. SHIFT FULL)
Tuesday, April 28 – 8:05-10:45 a.m. (a.m. SHIFT FULL) and 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m. (p.m. SHIFT FULL)

Monday, April 29 – 9-10:45 a.m.

Thursday, April 30 – 7:55-11 a.m. and 11:10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday, May 1 – 7:45-11:20 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-2:50 p.m.

Monday, May 4 – 7:55-11:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.-2:40 p.m.

Tuesday, May 5 – 7:45-11:05 a.m. (a.m. SHIFT FULL) and 12-2:50 p.m. (p.m. SHIFT FULL)

Wednesday, May 6 – 7:55-11:30 a.m. and 12:05-1:50 p.m. (p.m. SHIFT FULL)
Thursday, May 7 – 8-11:35 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.-2:10 p.m.

Monday, May 11 – 7:55-11:05 a.m. and 11:20 a.m.-2:15 p.m.
Tuesday, May 12 – 10:35 a.m.-2 p.m.

Wednesday, May 13 – 7:55-11:20 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.-2:40 p.m.

Thursday, May 14 – 7:45-11:10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.-12:25 p.m.
Friday, May 15 [...]

By |April 7th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Distribution time is here – sign up to volunteer!|

A BFK family’s story

When Trion Brown’s daughter, Z’mia, came bounding home with a tote bag full of books one day after school last spring, she was excited for her daughter, a kindergartener. But, she was also a little apprehensive.

“When I started seeing the princess books, I thought, ‘Oh, Lord, how am I going to afford all of these books?” Trion recalls. “We’re going to have to return these books and it’s going to break her heart.”

Then, Trion read the letter from tucked in with the books. It explained that the books were Z’mia’s to keep – from Books for Keeps. That they would help Z’mia’s brain expand and grow stronger during the summer. And, that every child in Z’mia’s school – all 400 students at Dunbar Elementary in Atlanta – got to pick out 12 books each and take them home, just like Z’mia, thanks to the efforts of Books for Keeps.

“She told me that she had picked them out herself,” Trion says. “She read the titles out to me. I knew that she could read, but I was amazed at how well she could read.”

That night, Trion and Z’mia read together all evening. They read until it was almost time to get up again, Trion jokes.

And then summer came, and Z’mia kept reading.

“This summer, she picked up books more than anything – more than a toy,” she says. “I don’t think her involvement in books would be as much if it weren’t for the books she got in the spring.”

And then fall came. When Z’mia entered the first grade, she received a reading assessment. Z’mia’s teacher was starting the process of putting students into groups according to their reading levels.

“Z’mia blew out all of the reading [...]

By |November 20th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on A BFK family’s story|

Class Sponsor Spotlight: Classic City Orthodontics and Athens Lions Club

This is part of a series of blog posts profiling the sponsors that adopt a classroom, a grade level, or an entire school through charitable giving. We couldn’t do what we do without the folks and businesses in the community that step up to ensure that an entire group of children has access to high-quality books all summer long.
As a returning class sponsor, Classic City Orthodontics holds a special place in the collective heart of Books for Keeps. When our nonprofit was still young and proving itself in the Athens Community, Dr. Tradd Harter and his practice demonstrated that they believed in what Books for Keeps was trying to build.

Dr. Harter’s practice was also one of the first local businesses to host a book drive benefiting Books for Keeps. Classic City Orthodontics now holds a drive every fall. It has become so much a part of their routine that they remind patients to bring books to donate when making appointment confirmation phone calls.

Classic City Orthodontics does an amazing thing by sponsoring a classroom, ensuring every child in that class will go home with 12 books and a tote bag to carry them. But, the book drives hosted by Classic City Orthodontics are perhaps just as astounding. In the fall of 2013, at both their Athens and Watkinsville locations, Dr. Harter’s practice collected 900 children’s books to benefit Books for Keeps!

Thank you Dr. Harter and staff for your dedication to Books for Keeps!
The Athens Lions Club is a first-time class sponsor this year, and we are so very happy to have them on board!

As with so many of our wonderful sponsors, the Lions Club’s commitment to Books for Keeps started with [...]

By |August 21st, 2014|Sponsor Spotlight, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Class Sponsor Spotlight: Classic City Orthodontics and Athens Lions Club|

The Inaugural Books for Keeps Yard Sale!

Get ready clean out your garage or storage closet because the inaugural Books for Keeps Yard Sale is just around the corner! You can get rid of unwanted items, make a profit, and support Books for Keeps all at the same time!

On October 25, 2014, Books for Keeps is inviting you to participate in this unique first-time fundraiser. We are hoping you will host a yard sale and donate a percentage of the profits to support summer reading by students from low-income families. The best thing about it is that it’s not limited to folks in Athens, Atlanta or even Georgia- you can host a yard sale anywhere!

Here is how it works in three easy steps:

First, let everyone know about your yard sale.  It can be as simple as spreading the word about your yard sale with signs, emails, text messages and flyers to your family, co-workers and neighbors. Sign up to host your yard sale benefit and we’ll provide you with flyers, signs and email language to help you promote your yard sale.

Ready to sign up already? Email Kim Klonowski to get on our list early!

Second, SELL! Deliver a solid sales pitch and remind customers that you are doing good deed by donating a percentage of your proceeds to Books for Keeps.

Finally, divvy up the profits. You will keep a majority of your yard sale income, and we will ask that you donate a small percentage of the profits to Books for Keeps.

You can either donate the amount on our website or mail a check to Books for Keeps, P.O. Box 49761, Athens, GA  30604.

Although October 25 may seem far from now, it is never too early to begin planning and spreading the word via email to your neighborhood [...]

By |June 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Inaugural Books for Keeps Yard Sale!|

Newly updated book wish list!

Thanks to our wonderful volunteers during book distributions this past April and May, we have a newly updated book wish list for our elementary students! Please visit our wish list page for the complete list of book titles covering elementary through high school.

After compiling results of exit surveys from each of the 10 elementary schools we serve, we found the following books to be the most requested for next year.  As you can imagine with 3,700 students, the number of requests was large! This information could not have been compiled without a large number of volunteers assisting at distributions and recording each student’s comments.

Graphic novels such as Amulet and BONE are increasingly popular and the latest edition to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is always a favorite among our students.

New to our wish list this year is Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants, Scooby Doo, Pokémon, the Pete the Cat series and the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. At book distributions, there were plenty of students asking for those books and the available copies always left the book tables – quickly. However, Minecraft, Hello Kitty, 39 Clues, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Shake It Up are the most surprising additions to our wish list. We plan to have more of those books for next year’s distribution!

We are always looking for gently used or new copies of the books on our wish list. If you do not have any of these books, you can make a monetary donation to help us buy books – we are able to get great discounts through publishers, nonprofits, and other clearinghouses.

And remember – we will take donated books of all kinds! Any book that is not [...]

By |June 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Newly updated book wish list!|

What a wild and wonderful spring!

It’s hard to believe this post is coming less than one month after book distributions began.

It seems like we blinked and they were over – that magical period of two-and-a-half weeks in which we gave away 45,000 books to 3,700 students at 10 elementary schools.

It was, by turns, exhilarating and exhausting, joyful and humbling. It was a reminder of how crazy we are for doing what we do in a matter of just a few weeks — and it was a reminder that it is one of the most worthwhile and rewarding endeavors of which many of our volunteers, board members, and (tiny) staff have ever been a part.

We nearly doubled our program reach this year – to 3,700 students from 2,000 the year prior. We added five new schools: Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary, Winterville Elementary and Downtown Academy in Athens; Paul E. Dunbar Elementary in Atlanta; and M.E. Freeman Elementary in Warrenton.

These additional schools were a huge stretch for us — in terms of fundraising, in terms of logistics (just getting the books to the out-of-town schools was a major challenge), and in terms of staffing. But it was really remarkable to serve new schools for the first time in three years.

In many of our existing schools, the students are totally familiar with Books for Keeps. It’s a good thing. They start asking in August when Books for Keeps is coming back (and we love hearing that from media specialists). But, it also means that there’s no sense of delighted surprise when we tell them they will take home 12 books — by this point, many of the older students can recite exactly how a distribution works. And children can be spectacularly blunt: “We still only [...]

By |May 22nd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What a wild and wonderful spring!|

Distribution time is here at last!

For 50 weeks, we’ve collected, inspected, sorted and boxed books. Now comes the fun part – we’ll spend two-and-a-half weeks this spring giving them all away!

Join us as we help children select and count their books and record their feedback on our book selection. The one word that seems to best describe the experience:  JOY.

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! Sign up for a shift at handsonnortheastgeorgia.org.

If you are part of a group that would like to adopt an entire shift, please email Leslie Hale to sign them up: leslie.hale@booksforkeeps.org.
Monday, April 28 – 8:05-11:05 a.m. and 11:55-2:30 p.m. (all shifts full)

Tuesday, April 29 – 7:45 a.m.-12 p.m. and 12:10-2:30 p.m. (p.m. shift full)

Wednesday, April 30 – 7:45 a.m.-12:05 p.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m. (p.m. shift full)

Thursday, May 1 – 7:45-11:25 a.m. and 11:40 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (p.m. shift full)
Friday, May 2 – 8:05-10:15 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.-1 p.m. (p.m. shift full)

Monday, May 5 – 7:45-11:05 a.m. and 12-2:15 p.m.
Tuesday, May 6 – 7:45-11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, May 7 – 7:45-11:15 a.m. and 11:50 a.m.-2 p.m. (p.m. shift full)
Thursday, May 8 – 7:45-10:50 a.m. and 10:50 a.m.-2:10 p.m.

Friday, May 9 – 8:25-11:45 a.m. and 11:50 to 3:10 p.m.

Monday, May 12 – 12:45-1:50 p.m.

Tuesday, May 13 – 7:45-11:05 a.m. and 11:05 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 14 – 7:45-11:30 a.m. and 11:35 a.m.-2:50 p.m. (p.m. shift full)

By |April 14th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Distribution time is here at last!|

Book Drive Month is back, baby!

We’re going at a terrific pace in the BFK warehouse, getting thousands of books ready to distribute to the children we serve. To date, volunteers have helped box 35,000 books for May distributions – and we have about 18,000 to go. Wow!

With all of that activity, you’d think we wouldn’t be bringing additional books into the warehouse right now. Think again! As soon as distributions are over, we must start preparing for next year!

That means fund-raising, buying new books, and finding donated books.

That’s why our March Book Drive Month is so important! Bringing in new donated books helps us accomplish all three goals. Book Drive Month is under way, but it’s not too late to host your own book drive – so read on!

First, and most obviously, Book Drive Month brings donated books to our program. Used books will find a new home and a new life in the hands of children who might not otherwise own a single book. And the donated books that do not go to our program – because they are adult titles or because they are too old or worn – will go to our book sale.

The BFK Book Sale, held in August, is our biggest annual fundraiser. It raised $20,000 in 2013, money that supports our efforts to buy books for children in Athens and beyond.

Hosting a book drive allows participants to gather new books from our wish list, as well as the donation of used books for both our program and our book sale. It’s a great way to encourage friends and co-workers to clean out home libraries in the name of fostering literacy in their own community.
How it works
It can be as simple as [...]

By |March 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Book Drive Month is back, baby!|

Where Did January Go? (or) A whole bunch of updates from Books for Keeps

But seriously, where did that month go?
It seems like it was just last week that we were celebrating the triumph of meeting our year-end fundraising goal, and also learning that we would need to find new warehouse space in the first quarter of this year.

OK, so maybe we’ve been a little busy. Our last post was January 13, about our need for new warehouse space. We have a lot of really great friends and supporters working to help us resolve this need – unfortunately, we have little else to update. We are continuing to talk to anyone who will listen to our needs, especially those folks who might know someone (who knows someone who knows someone).

If you missed it, here’s our press release about the issue, and a fantastic article the Athens Banner-Herald ran informing the community about our situation.

We continue to be grateful to Fire and Flavor for the two-and-a-half years they have given us of rent-free storage and operations space for our books. They are also doing what they can to help us find a new home, and we will forever be appreciative of their generosity.

Are you Smarter than an Athens Grade-Schooler?
Well, are you?

It’s a question we’re excited to ask for the first time, as we launch this inaugural event on March 22. It will be held at the Holiday Inn Athens, and will feature teams of adults competing against teams of students from the schools we serve.

We’re recruiting teams now, working directly with the schools and reaching out to members of the business community to see who feels secure enough that they’ve retained that all-important grade-school knowledge. Check out our event page on our website and on Facebook. Ticket [...]

By |February 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Where Did January Go? (or) A whole bunch of updates from Books for Keeps|