BookSmiles' core belief impels us to recycle gently used books by putting them into the hands of underserved children. We also prefer to recycle the banana boxes saved for us by the ALDI market on Route 38 in Cherry Hill. A big thanks to Kelly, who stocks the shelves in the morning!
We can fit up to 130 picture books into one box. One thousand books will soon fill these boxes, which have great handles and the strength of crates. The hope is that the teachers who receive them will think creatively of how to use them.
Here we are at a Prevent-the-Summer-Slide pop up book fair at School #4. Having our high school students volunteer their time after school to distribute nearly 850 books to hundreds of children is the SWEET SPOT.
We are spreading this model to other districts in New Jersey, namely Paulsboro, Cherry Hill, Vineland, and Newark. Why should Lindenwold have all the fun?
Thank you Temple Beth Sholom for enabling congregants to donate gently used children's books. Our collection bin in the foyer's entrance was filled to the brim!
And talk about taking it to the next level! Here is my friend Sara Kreisman with her children helping to sort 825 books.
We are collecting all summer long and beyond. Tens of thousands of SJ children have few to no books at home and we are changing this! Children sharing books with others is a mighty thing!
How great it is to now be allied with the West Jersey Reading Council. Looking forward to promoting literacy in our area and beyond!
As BookSmiles spreads to other districts, we ally ourselves with the local police force and Head Start programs. Here in Lindenwold, we have Officer Tweedley and Deborah Calesnick to help distribute LOADS of books to Lindenwold's children. Thanks, guys!
It's really happening! BookSmiles now gathers thousands of books each month through the activism of kids like Natalie, who gathered over 613 books among friends and family for her mitzvah project, and a noted private school in South Jersey that needed a new home for 1300 excellent books weeded from its library!
In just over a year, Lindenwold children from infant to age 18 have taken home 35,000 books raised by BookSmiles. We now have the brand and the books to expand to other districts.
All that it takes is one devoted teacher in an underserved district to latch onto the vision that owning books for a child should not be a privilege. Partner with BookSmiles and we'll show you how to bring smiles to thousands of children's faces.
A huge thanks to Haddonfield High School's Stand With Camden, Signal Hill Elementary School in Voorhees, and Sterling High School for contributing a combined 5,500 books to BookSmiles. Students at Lindenwold High School and Lindenwold Elementary School #4 enjoyed massive pop-up book fairs just before spring break. Over 1,300 of our students took home between 2 to 5 quality books.
BookSmiles' goal is to help every student build a personal library of several dozen books!
The pics below show some of the excitement our students had at the simultaneous book fairs. Most notably, the senior leads of The Little Mermaid, our recent spring musical, handed out four cases of Disney books to kindergarteners. It was magical! Thanks Kyra and Gaelyn!
A couple months ago, Kay Baggs the media specialist at Lindenwold High School, told me that our principal, Peter Brandt, wanted to have a book fair for all of our students. She would need about 1,800 books.
I said YES without hesitation.
We started the week-long book fair today. BookSmiles provided the books and Kay, assisted by students, organized and supervised distribution. Nearly all of our students will get to take home FREE books for themselves and for younger siblings. A big thanks to Townsend Press for contributing.
This is precisely the BookSmiles model! Do you know of a district that would like to do this for its students? Let us know and we will show you how to do it!