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Got Books?

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Want to make a difference?
Be part of something life-changing?

Join Book Drive for Kids’ Share A Book Initiative!

April 23rd is World Book Day. What better way to celebrate than to ensure all children have books in their homes! In the DFW area, there are more than 630,000 economically disadvantaged children with few, if any, books in their homes. Whether it’s due to financial hardship, speaking a language other than English, or the challenges presented by recent COVID school closures, many children are without the resources they need to learn how to read and succeed in school. By encouraging reading for fun, children strengthen reading skills, build self-confidence, tap into their imagination, and learn about the people and world around them. These opportunities are lost when a child lacks access to books.

Flower Mound resident Mehgan DeProspero and her daughter Samantha were the FIRST Share-A-Book Day leaders during last year’s initiative. “It made my heart glad when Sammy heard about your book fairs, she jumped right up to find books she could donate,” Mehgan said. They sent an email to friends and neighbors and collected 76 gently-used books and monetary donations which were then shared with local children during a Book Drive for Kids Free Book Fair.

Imagine the impact if YOU joined with 100 other people to Share-A-Book! That would be SOOO many books! Help us meet our goal of 100 Share-A-Book Day leaders.

Together we can make a difference, one book at a time. Check out the Share A Book Initiative.

We can be the change we want to see in the world….simply by sharing a book.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

By General

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. A time of giving, sharing hope, and extending goodwill towards all. This past Christmas was no different.

As we know, 2020 was a difficult year that presented many new challenges. One challenge, in particular, was the effect of Covid on schools and how they educate students. Many children were schooling via Zoom and really missed the benefits of being in-person with their teachers and classmates. Children in the lower economic areas were especially impacted as they lacked access to educational and technological resources (like books at home!) many of us take for granted. This disruption in education continues to place additional stress on teachers and parents. Schools and administrators are seeking ways to support their students and meet the need of this desperate situation.

Principal Rebecca Rodriguez leads a school that faced this challenge. She reached out to her local church and asked for help. She wanted to collect books to gift her 540, Kindergarten and First Grade, students. Most of her students are ESL learners whose families live at or below the poverty line. Their lives were greatly impacted by the added difficulties of the Covid pandemic. Her heart was to give each child a book of their very own, a luxury most did not have. The need was great and time was short… they needed a Christmas Miracle!

Through a personal connection at her local church, Book Drive for Kids heard of the school’s plea. The need resonated with us because it is the heart of our organization … to get books into the hands of disadvantaged students. Book Drive for Kids was excited about the opportunity and accepted the challenge. What makes this opportunity extra special is that Principal Rodriquez’s school is in Peekskill, New York! Almost 1,400 miles away! In less than 5 hours, Book Drive for Kids heard the need, coordinated with the church partner, and ordered the books. A special thanks to one of our partners, First Book for their role in providing low-cost books to disadvantaged children and for shipping this order so quickly. This truly was a team effort!

Our Christmas Miracle – 600 brand new children’s books were on their way!

The school was thrilled by the response to their plea and shocked this gift was coming from Lewisville, Texas! Principal Rodriquez was so grateful and sent Book Drive for Kids a heartfelt thank you.

“Your donation made it possible to create an event that not only brought joy and levity to this challenging season but provided students with a beautiful gift that will continue to support their academic journeys as readers.” She went on to add, “Your efforts are nothing short of amazing! You intervened at a time when we needed you most and we are most grateful for your partnership, love, and care.”

Book Drive for Kids also received a kind letter from the Peekskill City School Superintendent. Dr. David Mauricio thanked us for our gift which helped their district uphold their tenets of “nurturing the ‘whole child’ and providing culturally responsive academics.”

What a joy and privilege it was to bring a Christmas Miracle to students across the country. This would not have been possible without our amazing donors, who enable Book Drive for Kids to be ready with resources to respond so quickly to needs like this. Thank you for turning a desperate plea into a true Miracle.

To quote Dr. Seuss, “Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.” Blessing children and sharing hope isn’t limited to Christmas.

Watch your in-box for more news about exciting events coming in 2021. Happy New Year!!

Belk Charity Sale

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Start your Christmas shopping with a $5 gift for YOU and a $5 gift for Book Drive for Kids!!

The Belk Charity Sales starts this week! Purchase your $5 ticket and Belk will donate that $5 to Book Drive for Kids and give YOU $10 off your purchase this week during the Belk Charity Sale.

The average cost for a NEW book for us is $3! What a great way to gift TWO (almost) new books to needy children while shopping at a discount at Belk!

Use the Belk Charity Ticket at ANY Belk store or online. When purchasing the ticket, choose the Flower Mound, Texas, location, and Book Drive for Kids will be listed. All of these funds go directly to Book Drive for Kids immediately! 

Thank you for your support!

Merry Christmas!

Michelle & Nicol

Kickoff ‘20-’21

By General, What's Happening

2020 is a year for the record books for Book Drive for Kids! Not just because we have survived a world-wide pandemic but because in the middle of COVID-19, we set all kinds of records. 

  • 9,660 kids were able to select a book of their choice
  • 10,950 books were given away to children and classroom libraries
  • 23 Free Bookfairs were held across the state of Texas
  • $10,000 gift (the biggest ever received!) from Regions Bank
  • 26 volunteers accomplished all of these mile markers

No doubt, 2020 has been one of the most turbulent years in recent history, yet when you read the Community Impact Statement of Book Drive for Kids, we know that the spirit to care for one another is alive and well! Perhaps now, more than ever, we appreciate the simple things, like a book, a friend, and a smile.  These are the very “things” that make Book Drive for Kids so special. We are a community of friends sharing a book and a smile in hopes of making new friends!

On Friday, October 16, donors, volunteers, and guests joined together to celebrate the accomplishments of this past year and look forward to expanding our initiatives in Denton County. We celebrated Regions Bank’s gift of $10,000, which provided the matching portion of a grant from Reading is Fundamental, opening up almost 6,000 NEW books for our free book fairs. This gift provides almost full funding to our base operations in Dallas county.   

The Challenge to our Denton County friends 

In the cities of Denton, Lewisville, and Flower Mound, there are eleven schools whose student population is 70% economically disadvantaged.  Additionally, 30-50% of the students in several of these schools have not yet passed the English proficiency test. These children are our neighbors. We shop at Walmart and Kroger together. Yet, unlike many Denton county homes, these children have few, if any, books in their homes. For these families, the purchase of a book is a luxury purchase. How can they build the vocabulary they need to achieve success at school when they lack books at home?

Book Drive for Kids is here to help overcome these obstacles. YOU can play an integral part!

We are seeking donations of new and gently-used children’s books as well as monetary donations so that we can bring free book fairs to each and every one of these schools.

At the Kickoff ‘20-’21, our generous donors fully funded a free bookfair for Central Elementary to be held this Spring. Other donors gifted books so Lillie Jackson’s Early Childhood Center could hold their fair.  That’s two schools down, 9 more to go.

How can you get involved?

When each of us does our part, together we can spared hope, love, and laughter to the children in our community!

Share a Book Day

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OUR RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Book Drive for Kids has already completed most of our scheduled free book fairs this school year. We hope to be able to hold our final three free book fairs at the end of May to launch summer reading emphasis here in Denton County.

It is an understatement to say that all of our lives are filled with uncertainty and change. Our educational system is just one of those areas to experience tremendous disruption. Thousands of children and teachers have abruptly switched to online or distance learning, including my own two high schoolers. We had to create study space, set-up devices, and find a whole new schedule!

For children in low-income homes this creates additional hurdles. Some don’t have easy internet access, separate dedicated study space, and/or learning tools & supplies at home. Many of their parents struggle to help with academic lessons due to working or their own weak educational experiences. The COVID-19 crisis highlights the need to have children’s books IN THEIR HOMES.

That’s where YOU can help!

Book Drive for Kids has already been contacted by organizations and schools interested in getting books into the hands of their students in need. Since we are all sequestered at home, now is a great time to help those books your kids have outgrown find a new home.

April 23rd is World Book Day. In celebration, Book Drive for Kids is launching the Share A Book initiative. Together we fulfill our mission: to create a culture of literacy by providing books to disadvantaged children for independent reading.

HOW?

  1. Download the Share A Book digital flier at https://bookdriveforkids.com/shareabook/.
  2. Distribute electronically to your friends and neighbors, identifying your front porch as a drop-site.
  3. Share a picture of your Share A Book Day collection at #ShareABookDay and/or #BookDrive4Kids.
  4. Once you have collected your books, complete the Share A Book Day form at https://bookdriveforkids.com/shareabook/ and we will contact you to pick up your donations.
  5. You will receive recognition of your participation. This event can count as community service hours.

Book Donations

We accept donations of new books, targeted at children preK to 6th grade. Visit our Amazon Wish List of high demand book titles.

We also accept donations of gently-used books, targeted for children preK to 6th grade. They should be in good condition and without water damage. They cannot be torn or annotated. Limited writing, such as a name, can be covered with the Book Drive for Kids bookplates.

Christmas Every Day

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Each Christmas as I gazed at the brightly-wrapped rectangular packages under our tree, I wondered, “Which one is my new book?”  I knew that gift promised a virtual journey into an unknown world, maybe a fantastical world, where I would meet new people and learn new things. This enjoyable reading experience would spawn new thoughts and ideas to percolate in my brain. I still have many of those gifts on my bookshelves nearly forty years later. The ideas and impressions I gathered have influenced the person I am today and the choices I have made throughout my life. 

How about you? What books were YOU given as a child that impacted you?

At Book Drive for Kids, we offer this experience at each and every free book fair. Excited children peruse the heavily laden tables and wonder, “Which one will be MY new book?”  They judge the book covers to decide which adventure will be the most exciting. They read the back covers for clues to trigger their interest. They look for familiar characters and titles. Finally, they select their new book – their new quest. 

For many of these children, this will be the FIRST book they have received as a gift. For others, it will be one of a handful of children’s books that they can read over and over because it now belongs to them. Forever.

It’s a joy to watch! It’s like Christmas, every day.

With your gift of $3 we can place a NEW book in the hands of a child who may never have received a book as a gift. Just $3 per child.

Right up the street in Denton and Lewisville, there are 5,000 children who are economically disadvantaged and between 30-50% of those children have not yet mastered English. They desperately need books in their homes to boost their academic progress but also to give hope, adventure, and a little magic. These books will take them places they can only dream of going and let them “do” things that foster hope and joy.

Help us reach our goal of raising the remaining $10,000 we need to reach all of these children in Denton county. Donate today.    

“I have wanted this book ALL MY LIFE!”

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“I have wanted this book ALL MY LIFE!”, exclaimed by a little kindergartener at a Book Drive for Kids free book fair in September when she saw the book, Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell. It is a counting book that was obviously read to her frequently. As she perused the book fair table,  she recognized it immediately and knew she wanted to take it home for always. We watched her “reading” the pages and pointing out the pictures to her classmates. She was overjoyed to find a familiar book and one in which she could see herself. I couldn’t resist snapping this photo of her and her new book! 

Isn’t that one of the wonderful things about reading? Finding characters we can relate to; characters who experience the same things we experience; characters who say and do some of the same things we say and do. This familiarity is especially important for young children. It helps them see how they “fit in” to the world around them. Even without words, beautiful picture books allow children to imagine their own stories.  

Thanks to our donors and a matching grant from Reading is Fundamental, this excited little girl found something she had wanted all her life!  

Summer Reading

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Summer reading has always been a time of freedom for me. No longer does the school course of study dictate what we read. We can pick up whatever book appeals to us in the moment! I decided to start my summer reading with Dragonwings by Laurence Yep. A fascinating title, right? It speaks of fantasy and adventure. This mysterious book kept popping up at book fairs but I couldn’t recommend it to a child because I didn’t REALLY know what it was about. That all changed today.

Dragonwings swept me away to the Middle Kingdom of China in 1903 where Shadow Moon lives on a small country farm with his mother and grandmother. They all terribly miss his father, who has been in working in the land of the Golden Mountain (California) since before Shadow Moon’s birth, seven years ago. It is full of beautiful descriptions of Chinese culture, stories, and the poverty which drove men to leave their wives and children behind to seek a better life in an unknown and somewhat fearful land across the ocean. When Shadow Moon is nine (or ten as the Chinese count it), his father sends Hand Clap, a cousin, to bring Shadow Moon to America and the adventure begins.

Dragonwings is a fictional account of what life was like for a Chinese boy in San Francisco in the early 1900s and through the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire which destroyed much of the city. It is an excellent book to use to talk to children about immigration as we watch Shadow Moon struggle but persevere through the fear of a new land and people, learn a new language and customs, and retain his own traditions while learning how to live in a land with new technology and practices. We watch Shadow Moon interact with hostile and friendly people among the “demons” (Americans) and the “Tang” (Chinese). We see how the love of family and friendship help him and his father accomplish their dreams. I hope you will check it out!

What book is the opener for your summer reading?

SURPRISE!

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We recently returned from a family vacation. For months, we carefully planned our trip – the destination city, the perfect location to stay, visits to museums and World Heritage Sites, and not-to-be-missed foods. It was a lovely time! It is after times like these, we ask, “What was your favorite part?”

As I thought about it, I found that it was not the carefully-planned outing or the world famous spots that stood out as the most cherished moments. It was the unexpected happenings – the SURPRISES that brought me the most delight! It was stumbling upon a beautiful street market, accidentally arriving in time for a free concert, and the sheer size of a huge painting!

SURPRISE!
The very word shouted aloud makes the heart beat a little faster, the eyes perk up a little brighter, and (hopefully) a startled look dissolve into a wide smile and laughter. Some of us love surprises more than others; nevertheless, surprises jolt us out of the mundane activities of life.

Surprise.
Isn’t that something that all great books share? A surprising plot twist. An unpredicted action by a favorite character. A truly tragic series of events. An amicable resolution of a conflict.

Great authors cause us to hold our breath while we read on to see if our hero makes it out of a treacherous situation. Great books prompt us to stay up way past our bedtime because we just MUST see what happens! Great stories surprise and delight us.

What are some books that surprised you?

Kinds Words of Support

By General

Dear Book Drive for Kids,

Thank you guys for coming! I had several kids run up to me and thank me for inviting them to the book fair. I even had some stop me in the hallway and tell me about the book they chose. They were all very excited and extremely grateful for your generosity. I had to tell them it wasn’t my idea, it was you guys who had such a giving spirit. Thanks again for helping to foster our scholar’s love for reading. We really appreciate it.

Best Regards,
Angela Murphy
Inspired Vision Academy

These words warmed my heart because they are evidence that we are fulfilling our mission to help create a culture of literacy! In January, A+ Academy and Inspired Vision Academy, both charter schools operating in south Dallas, welcomed us on to their campuses. We found students who were excited about learning and enthusiastic about books! In the words of Ticcoa, a first-time volunteer:
“It was fun! My favorite moment (though there were many) was the third-grader who found a book super quick and came running to get his bookplate. He half-shouted, half-laughed, ‘I found a book about electricity! I love to build robotics and stuff. I love this book!’”
It’s wonderful experiences and feedback like this that make our giveaways so rewarding!

We know that books inform,
influence,
spark,
instill,
explain,
demonstrate,
illustrate,
interpret,
illuminate, but most of all they
feed our minds and souls with ideas.
Without this “food”, we starve the desire to learn. So join us as we strive to meet this need and feed the minds of the next generation. Get involved today!