We’re whittling away at it.

As of this morning, we need 261 sponsors for the children we serve. That’s out of 3,700 children who will receive books from BFK in May of 2014.

We’ve made huge progress since last month, when 1,195 children needed sponsors. We are always amazed at how far we can go in a short period – and at how the community will step up to meet a need.

Most recently, it came in the form of two class sponsorships in one day – at $500 each – and the news that we are to receive a $2,500 grant from Jackson EMC. That’s 140 children sponsored in one day.

We have 261 sponsorships to go before December 31. Why December 31?

By mid-January, we need to have all of the books on hand that will go to students in May. That’s because it takes a herculean effort to get the books divided up evenly for each school, and boxed for delivery.

(Just think – we can’t send every copy of “Junie B. Jones” to Gaines Elementary, and all of our “Goosebumps” to Winterville Elementary, and give every “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” to Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary! So we will spend the spring divvying up and preparing books for delivery.)Facebook holiday big-small thank-you

If you’ve already given – thank you. You have no idea how much your contribution – no matter how small – will mean to a child this spring.

If you’re unable to make a donation, help us spread the word! Share this blog post with friends and family, with folks you know who care about reading and education. It takes just $25 to sponsor a child, or $500 to sponsor a whole classroom. We have 261 sponsors to go. It’s a small number compared to where we started, but we can only do it with your help!

 

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In the middle of all of this year-end hustle and bustle, we’ve taken some time out to remember why we do what we do.

Our main program is for grades K-5. It’s what we have to fund-raise for, and where much of our energy goes. However, when we have the donated books for other grades, we try to get them to the schools.

In December, we held formal distributions for the Pre-K students at Oglethorpe Avenue and Fowler Drive elementary schools in Athens, plus M.E. Freeman Elementary school in Warrenton. In all, we took six books each to 148 3- and 4-year-olds in those schools.

Freeman

The Pre-K students of M.E. Freeman Elementary School in Warrenton were so much fun, and the school has been so welcoming. We can’t wait to go back in May and give 12 books each to the students in grades K through 5.

And we had a lot of fun.

Oglethorpe and Warrenton are both new schools to Books for Keeps, so it was really special taking books to those students for the first time. There was a lot of joy, especially as we watched some very exuberant pre-schoolers over-shoot their mark, and pick out eight, or 10 or even 14 books.

In Warrenton, we got some help from the board of Family Connection and Communities in Schools – their director, Emma Sinkfield, has been incredibly welcoming, and the school has expressed so much gratitude for us bringing the BFK program to them.

It was extra work during an already crazy month planning these Pre-K distributions. But, boy was it worth it. It gave us, our board members, and volunteers the warm-fuzzy feeling that is a hallmarkapron of the BFK program. It makes us excited about putting those aprons back on in May.

In addition to our formal distributions, we’ve given board books directly to some of our other media specialists, and activity kits to the schools as Christmas gifts for needy families. This month, we’ve given away more than 1,300 board books and roughly 90 activity kits or books as Christmas gifts.

We’ve RECEIVED a lot this month from supporters. But it’s all in the name of GIVING back to the schools we serve. That’s why we do what we do. And we thank you for your support toward that effort!