TCNJ New-Teacher Giveaway
I graduated from The College of New Jersey with my Masters of Teacher in 1995. Returning nearly 30 years later to give away 3000 books to soon-to-graduate teachers was intoxicating.
Every teacher should start their career with a robust classroom library. This makes it easy to pass the book-wealth along to children living in book deserts. No child should feel poor when book fairs come to visit their school! And new teacher has enough to worry about without wondering how not to spend big bucks on classroom books!
High School Field Trip Goes Big!
One plus to having a larger book bank is fitting 43 high school students for a day of public service. Never before did we host so many people at once, but these scholars from Hammonton High School made it work. We had a blast sorting!
Contact email@example.com or message us if you'd like to visit the book bank with your school or group.
And check out one of Larry's first forays into making a TikTok!
Pop-up Book Drive
Great to have Senator Troy Singleton organize a successful pop-up book drive at the best used bookstore in South Jersey.
Here's text from his FB entry:
Thank you to Brandon and the team from Second Time Books for hosting a pop-up book collection today for Book Smiles! We appreciate everyone who dropped off donations and were able to fill the truck! If you’ve never been, this store has an amazing collection of used and new books - it’s an absolute gem in Rancocas Woods in Mount Laurel! BookSmiles Second Time Books
And here's one from Larry:
A Great Day
- Browsing in Second Time Books, my favorite used bookstore, perfumed with the scent of finely aged books.
- Gorging the truck with donated books during a pop-up drive
- Chatting about books with BookSmiles Board Member and friend, Senator Troy Singleton.
Book-lovers, just go if you haven't shopped at this gem in Rancocas Woods. Go today. Can we have some FB friends please testify on the feed about this place:
An Incredible Partnership
Since September, we have been partnering with FathersRead365, a nonprofit, run by the incredible Author Brent Johnstone and Akeiff Staples, two dads determined to get books to Philly kids who need them most. Check out their latest video: https://www.fox29.com/video/1183977
FathersRead356 has withdrawn 12,547 books from the Book Bank since the school year started, making them one of our most powerful partners. Akeiff and Brent go directly into the schools, creatively putting books directly into the hands of the youngest scholars!
Christine Girtain NJ State Teacher of the Year 2022-2023 visited the Book Bank recently and can't wait to tell legions of the teachers across NJ about us.
A Book Drive at at Bookstore
What a successful book drive! Thank you, Cathy - owner of Main Point Books in Wayne, PA - for sponsoring a drive that prompted several dozen patrons and neighbors to clear off their shelves and conveniently donate children's and grown up books!
We gathered over 3,000 books which will help fuel our mission of getting books into the homes and hands of children living in book deserts throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey.
LeVar Burton and the NJEA Convention
The NJEA Convention was a hit! Sharing a panel with LeVar Burton before thousands of people was invigorating and inspiring. And thanks to a generous grant from the NJEA, the BookSmiles team distributed 10,000 new books to over 4,000 teachers.
So great to be featured on a local station, and my Senior Project class is in the mix. And better yet to be introduced by the legendary Jim Gardner!
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Partnering with Trenton's PEP!
A huge shout-out to our new partners, Trenton's Parents Engaging Parents. Coordinator Gabby Douglas was the very first to pick up books at our soon-to-open Book Bank in Pennsauken.
Here are her words: "Parents Engaging Parent Book bag giveaway was a success! Our goal was to help soften the financial burden that Covid-19 and inflation is causing. Our partnership with BookSmiles and Tona Buck helped us to provide families with over 300 books & boxes sanitary products! We engaged with other parents & community leaders & had fun!!! Thanks to all the volunteers."
Matthew Strauss was one of the first kids to borrow a bin and do a book drive shortly after we opened the Book Bank. He was 10.
Three years later, well after earning BookSmiles Ambassador status, he coordinated a drive among several swim clubs, yielding an insane 10,525 books. Way to go, Matthew! Your total count is 16,290!