BookSmiles gives underserved children in New Jersey and Philadelphia the opportunity to build personal libraries, starting at infancy. Our team collects, sorts, and creatively distributes gently used, new, and like-new books. We focus on providing students and younger siblings with dozens of high-quality books, which lays the groundwork for great literacy skills before and during the elementary school years.
We also provide fellow educators with free books for their classrooms, encouraging them to become literacy activists by gathering and distributing children's books.
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, Seton Hall, Cornell, Perdue, Drexel, TCNJ, Rowan, CCC, 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 September 2017, BookSmiles has distributed over 165,000 books! High school students, teachers, and volunteers have put nearly all of them all into childrens' and parents' hands.
We are rapidly expanding to other towns in New Jersey. We need the books to change lives.