Books for Keeps started as one woman’s effort to help a little girl who loved to read but didn’t own a single book. Here’s our story, told in founder Melaney Smith’s own words. 

Books for Keeps from Mt. Bethel UMC on Vimeo.

Athens children from low-income families are victims of a problem that’s been documented for decades and compounds each year of a child’s education: summer slide. By 6th grade, many of them will be 2 years behind their classmates achievement-wise – a gap that’s nearly impossible to overcome and severely limits their educational and employment prospects.

There’s a solution: give them books. Our program is research-based and designed keep children reading all summer long, regardless of their proximity to a library or parental involvement.  It’s been proven effective at ending summer slide.