If 2020 was a year for simply surviving – getting by with whatever semblance of normalcy we could scrape together – 2021 has been a year for reminding ourselves just how resilient we can be, even in the face of continued hardship.
The schools and the students we serve are a reminder for us of this fact every day – and it’s why we’re excited to share final numbers from our spring book distributions:
108,000 books delivered – either to students’ schools or directly to their homes with the help of our nonprofit partners at First Book.
We served 9,437 students in grades Pre-K through 5, attending schools in five counties.
We had the privilege in this strange year of expanding our service population – adding grades Pre-K and fifth in Elbert County thanks to a state literacy grant, and adding an entire school, Morgan County Elementary, because of the hard work of their media specialist, Kathi Edwards, and a grant from the Walton EMC Foundation. (Morgan County third- through fifth-graders got to choose four books each. We hope to expand our offerings to a full 12-books-per-student in future years, dependent on funding.)
It took 2,127 hours by volunteers between February and mid-May to set the warehouse up and then pack student orders (more on that below), though it was a pleasure working in the late-winter and early spring months as opposed to the sweltering days we spent in the warehouse between May and August of 2020 packing and delivering student orders!
More than 292 unique volunteers worked with us throughout this process, filling 553 volunteer spots across 71 shifts. On average, that’s 5 hours contributed on average by each volunteer [...]