BookSmiles gives underserved children in South Jersey the opportunity to build personal libraries by collecting, sorting, and creatively distributing gently used books. We focus on developing literacy skills at infancy so that our children can read before kindergarten.
We also provide our fellow teachers with free books for their classrooms, encouraging them to become social activists by gathering and distributing children's books.
Why start with Lindenwold?
Since 2004, Larry Abrams has loved teaching English at Lindenwold High School. His students are the children of long-time homeowners, recent immigrants, and hard-working families.
Lindenwold's graduates have gone on to study at the University of Pennsylvania, Howard, Perdue, Drexel, TCNJ, and Rutgers. Sadly, so many don't have the college option because of low reading and writing skills.
Why? Hundreds weren't read to as children and grew up with few or no books in the house. Sadly, the adults in their lives feel that the schools have sole responsibility for their children's education. This can no longer be the case.
Since November 2016, BookSmiles has collected over 50,000 books! High school students and volunteers have put nearly all of them all into childrens' and parents' hands since we started.
We are rapidly expanding to other towns in New Jersey. We need the books to change lives.