Book Access for All Programs
Research shows that book access is one of these most powerful tools in building literacy-rich communities. At Books for Keeps, we believe that book access for all is a right and are committed to providing high-interest, high-quality books across our community. Learn more about the importance of book access by visiting our “How It Works” page.
We provide book access through a variety of age-based across Athens, GA and beyond.
Little Kids (Ages 0-5)
Pre-K Book Bundles
Every Pre-K student in Clarke county receives 3 brand new, free books each month of the school year (that’s 600 kiddos!) to help progress Kindergarten readiness rates. That’s an additional 16,000 books to kids next year alone! This program’s goal is to help further develop positive associations with books and learning before finding themselves in Kindergarten. Books are always developmentally appropriate and typically slot into a few categories: social-emotional learning, letter and number foundations, bi-lingual, and seasonal celebrations.
After a successful pilot in Elbert County, the program was formally introduced in Clarke County for the 2022-23 school year. Programming is currently made possible through ARPA funding from CCSD Connect.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Athens Clarke County
Focused on children ages 0-5, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (“DPIL”) has been alive in Athens Clarke County for nearly 10 years. BFK began overseeing the program in 2021, which includes coordinating child registration, sharing about the program in the community, and funding all books and local operational costs. Each month, an age-appropriate book along with tools to grow literacy in the home and develop kindergarten readiness is mailed to the child’s home.
Have a little one, aged 0-5 at home? Register them today! We also invite you to consider sponsoring a child’s participation in the program, which costs roughly $30 per year.
Big Kids (Ages 6-12)
Spring Book Distributions (also known as “Stop Summer Slide”)
Have you ever experienced a School Book Fair, either as a child or an adult? Imagine if at that event, you were able to select 12 of the brand new, high-interest books in front of you to take home for keeps that summer! That’s the best way we can describe these events, hosted in elementary schools across 5 counties each spring.
The research-backed program is now serving more than 9,000 elementary school students across 6 counties in Georgia, ranging from metro Atlanta to rural Warrenton. Every student at our schools is invited to participate by selecting 12 brand-new, free books to take home and keep, all in an effort to stop the learning loss (“summer slide”) that occurs over the summer months.The Allington study, which the program is based on, found that when given the autonomous choice to select from books they’re interested in, students are more likely to read those books and develop a foundational love of reading and learning. Books for Keeps’ 2018 program evaluation found that students participating in the program were not only stopping the summer slide, they were reversing it and gaining 10-20% more levels of reading than their peers not in the program.
Support our Spring Book Distributions as a volunteer! Learn more here.
Affectionately referred to by our team as “Big Baby Blue,” the BFK Bookmobile is a rolling reminder of the importance of literacy in our community. The vehicle travels to schools, community events, and festivals throughout the year to offer book swaps, community resources, and other enrichment activities through collaboration with other organizations in our community.
Bigger Kids (Ages 13 and up!)
Community Book Fair
Every fall, Books for Keeps opens its warehouse doors to invite community members to browse our selection of hundreds of donated books. Each visitor is invited to take home 100+ books for free to bring back to their families, classrooms, and home communities! This event is a reflection of our mission to provide equitable book access for all and is made possible through partnerships with generous sponsors throughout the community. Join us this year in October as a visitor, and consider partnering with us a sponsor today!
Support the Community Book Fair as a Sponsor! Learn more here.
Little Free Libraries
We love Little Free Libraries, and the opportunity they provide for book access across communities! Throughout the year, our team coordinates book drops to keep LFLs around town stocked with high quality books. Check out the Little Free Library Map to find a library near you. Don’t see your local library listed? Let us know if you’d like a member of our team to come refresh your book selection!