It was terrific when Dan McVay, a social worker supervisor for the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, reached out to me. He had read about BookSmiles in the Inquirer and thought it was a great idea to improve children's lives by consistently providing them with lots of books!
Dan drove over the Delaware with his daughter and picked up 200 books, a great starter set for his staff to distribute to children on their caseloads.
Dan brought a bookshelf into his office. Here are the books from BookSmiles that will eventually go into the the homes of children who need support.
We teachers, along with social workers, have incredible power to improve the lives of underserved youth.
Do you know of social workers who would like to bring armfuls of books to the children they visit?
Put them in touch with BookSmiles!
The high point of the week had to be visiting Sparkle Clean Laundromat in Clementon to set up a box of books for The Laundromat Library League. I pulled out a book and started reading to a precious little girl whose mom left with a bag of books.
The boy pictured above glowed as he read to me!
Another great moment was picking up 735 pristine books, all sorted by children at Haddonfield Friends School. Teacher Heather McMahon spearheaded this terrific public service project. Massive book drives are catching on in the area!
Congregation Beth El in Voorhees hummed with activity during its MLK Day of Service. We were so pleased to accept excellent donations from Ben Miller, who collected several bags of books from friends who attended his last birthday party (yes, he wanted books to donate over presents), and from the Grossman family, who brought over 300 books that their four kids have outgrown!
Mark Ciechon, director of Finance for PATCO, stopped by with loads of books donated by office employees. BookSmiles is super excited that PATCO has invited us to be a featured non-profit for its PATCO cares program later this year. How ideal to "station" ourselves at a train location to collect books and spread the word!
Finally, Nancy Lubars provided a generous donation that allowed us to go nuts at Bargain Book Warehouse at Ellisberg circle. They sell brand new children's books anywhere between $2 and 5 dollars. The donation was made in memory of Nancy's mother who loved reading!
I was excited when Laura Goodfriend contacted me recently and explained that she wanted to start a book drive at Atlantic Avenue Elementary School in Haddon Heights. A preschool teacher, she saw the drive as a genuine opportunity for her students to do a good deed, while practicing real-life skills like writing letters, decorating collection boxes and posters, counting books, and listening politely to a 6'2" guest speaker with a book obsession.
I was honored to visit this excellent school to tell the BookSmiles story and accept the hefty 975 (and counting) book donation!
BookSmiles' mission requires that EDUCATORS spread literacy by sharing resources. Thanks, Atlantic Ave!
What makes BookSmiles unique? Our mission empowers teachers, students, and the local community to help ensure that ALL OF OUR CHILDREN, starting with newborns, have scores of books of their own. It's mainly students who literally spread the word in Lindenwold through pop-up book fairs like the one you see here at School #4!
We are thrilled with the donations that have streamed in during 2017! Just hit the DONATE/CONTACT US tab to connect us with sources of gently-used children's books.
We have distributed over 15,000 books among the five schools in our town! We're looking for 100,000 more and to expand to other towns.
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Should pregnant moms think of educating their unborn children? Of course! BookSmiles supports these moms with loads of books, and encourages them to read constantly with their new-born children. We even provide local women's clinics with books!
Can you donate infant board-books and very early readers? Do you know someone who can? Please contact us!
It was such a pleasure to gather books this evening at Beth El, my congregation and a place where I taught religious school for twelve years. Currently, I lead Junior Congregation on Shabbat!
The children and families of Beth El's Early Childhood Center just donated a few hundred wonderful books to BookSmiles, which will soon put them into the hands of appreciative children in the district where I teach!
To all ECC families, we're always collecting children's books. You can deposit them in the wooden bin, just across from Ms. Debbie Beideman's office.
BookSmiles now has a powerful ally with the Linden-Boro Chargers Cheerleaders! Here are some of the girls with a hefty book donation. There are more than 200 cheerleaders and they will contribute books for the rest of the school year and beyond. Thanks, Chargers!!
Thank you Barnes and Noble of Cherry Hill for donating 650 brand new books for their holiday book drive. BookSmiles is so proud to have you as a sponsor.
Thinking of buying books for the holidays? Go to Barnes and Noble and consider making an extra purchase that will help spread literacy in Lindenwold!
Jennifer Belko is a math teacher here at Lindenwold High School. She stepped up to start a book drive at her church, Gibbsboro United Methodist, and used a connection with the Junior Honor Society at Gibbsboro Middle School to collect nearly 700 books!
Jennifer is just one of several teachers in the Lindenwold District to contribute through BookSmiles. A big thanks to Jennifer and to all those who contributed to her drive!