Time to Bring Back the Books

To donate books easily, visit this project’s wish lists at Barnes and Noble (for young children’s books) and Amazon (for older children and YA).

I’ve just spoken with Ulli Heregger of Nashville’s incredible organization Pencil Foundation. This program provides a multitude of services to our educational community here in Nashville. I was lucky to volunteer there at the end of March and saw first-hand how their school supply program works. Community businesses donate their unneeded office supplies, old letterhead, gently used office machines, surplus products, and brand new school supplies to the foundation’s “store”. Teachers from Nashville Metro Public Schools are allowed to make an appointment to “shop” there twice per school year (all items are free to teachers). I saw dedicated teachers spend hours of their Saturday combing through notebooks and art supplies, bottles of glue and pencils for their needy students. These teachers didn’t have to do this. Only dedicated, passionate teachers would take the time and make the effort. This is one reason I am so determined to help them out now that the flood has affected them.

One of the most inspiring sections of the store for me was the back wall which was covered in books. The books were sorted by grade level and teachers could go back and choose titles for their classrooms. When I was a new teacher at a school full of low-income kids, books were a precious commodity. As anyone who has ever tried to help a child become a better reader will tell you, all it takes is that one, perfect book to hook them. I have dozens of memories of finding books that unlocked young hearts that had been locked tight against not only reading but all of school.

In the recent flood Nashville has endured, the Pencil Foundation lost over 2,000 books. Read about their flood losses here. When I read about this loss in the paper, my heart just sank. But there is hope. I’ve offered to donate the books collected for A Dry Read: New Books For Nashville, my blog project and challenge to you, to Pencil. They are thrilled. They plan to hold a book fair on one Saturday this October. They did this last year and said it was an incredible success. They gave away more than 6,000 books in one day. Each teacher was allowed to take 30 books (a very generous number), so that means more than 200 teachers showed up on their day off to carefully choose books their very needy students would love. So here’s the next step. They need the following items for the book fair:

1) Books: children’s books: board books, pre-school books, flap books, activity (coloring, sticker) books, picture books, young readers, beginning readers, children’s and young adult chapter books, and high school materials. Their most pressing needs are for books struggling readers at the elementary and middle school level can enjoy. High interest non-fiction books are as welcome as fiction. Many students are reading below grade level or are English Language Learners. Books in Spanish would also be greatly welcome. New or used books are great. As Ulli said, “A book can have many lives and last many years.” I love that!

2) Plastic storage bins and shelving. Again, one reason they lost so much was that their books were stored in cardboard boxes on the floor. Waterproofing their storage would have helped a lot.

3) Volunteers. As books come in and when the book fair itself approaches, Pencil Foundation will need man power to carry, sort, display, and distribute books. I’ll be in contact with Ulli about this, but anyone who wants to go ahead and volunteer can go to the Pencil website section on volunteering.

Your donation is the media mail rate of the postage to send in your books. Please send them to:

LP PENCIL Box at McCann ALC
1300 56th Ave North
Nashville, TN 37209

WISH LISTS

Click on Olivia for the Barnes&Noble Wish List!

Hi All! I’ve been working on a couple of wish lists for A Dry Read: New Books for Nashville. The first one is a Barnes and Noble’s website. If you click on this sweet piggie, AKA Olivia, it will take you to the wish list for the project. On that site, I browsed through their childrens bargain books and identified LOTS (um, 407) of titles that are super cheap. The Barnes and Noble selections are mostly for younger kids. There are some sticker books, movie books, and puzzle books in there. Teachers use those as prizes for jobs well done in the classroom (for anyone who is leery of buying something that’s not strictly a story book).You can shop there and have them mailed directly to Pencil Foundation, which is entered as the default delivery address for that wish list.

The other wish list is on Amazon. Again, Pencil Foundation’s snail mail address is the default delivery address for that list. Just purchase what you want and have it sent there directly! The Amazon list is for Young Adult (YA) readers (mostly–there are some very young pre-teen books on there, too–think Judy Blume).Multiple copies of titles are very welcome.

Click on Monster for the YA Amazon Wish List!

I’m going to play around with and edit the lists often. But I hope this might make giving books easier for you. Always trying! And I’m also VERY open to suggested titles for either page.

PRESS RELEASE FOR A DRY READ: NEW BOOKS FOR NASHVILLE (6/25/10)

Here’s the latest version of the press release for our book project. I’m very grateful to Elizabeth Willse for her wonderful editing advice and extensive help on this (and the entire project!). Follow her at www.elizabethwillse.com. She’s become a partner in this venture, offering her blogging space and time and so much more. I am so excited about this part of the project: seeing and meeting more people online who are so willing to help with this very worthy cause. Thanks, Elizabeth!

A Dry Read: New Books for Nashville

Help our community recover from the flood. We need BOOKS.

The flood left our city in desperate need; homes, businesses, jobs, landmarks, and lives were lost. So many things we take for granted were destroyed- homes, clothes, heirlooms, and favorite books. I’m a local teacher and book blogger, no good with a hammer and I’m outright dangerous around power tools. But I know books, and I am keenly aware of the power and comfort books can provide, especially to children who have lost their homes and whose parents are consumed by the process of piecing their lives back together.

The Pencil Foundation program provides a multitude of services to our educational community here in Nashville. Volunteering there at the end of March, I saw their school supply program change lives. Community businesses donate their surplus supplies and brand new school items to the foundation’s “store.” Teachers from Nashville Metro Public Schools make an appointment to “shop” there twice per school year. They can take what their classrooms need for free. I saw dedicated teachers spend hours of their Saturday combing through supplies for their needy students. These teachers didn’t have to do this. Only dedicated, passionate teachers would take the time and make the effort. This is one reason I am so determined to help them out now that the flood has affected them.

In the recent flood, the Pencil Foundation lost over 2,000 books. When I read about this loss in the paper, my heart just sank. But there is hope. Working with Ulli Herreger of the Pencil Foundation, I’ve put together a project called A Dry Read: New Books for Nashville, my blog project and challenge to you. All books will go to the Pencil Foundation. They are thrilled. They plan to hold a book fair on one Saturday this October. Last year’s book fair was an incredible success. They gave away more than 6,000 books in one day. Each teacher was allowed to take 30 free books, so that means more than 200 teachers showed up on their day off to carefully choose books their very needy students would love.

So here’s the next step. They need the following items for the book fair:

1) Books: children’s books: board books, pre-school books, flap books, activity (coloring, sticker) books, picture books, young readers, beginning readers, children’s and young adult chapter books, and high school materials. New or used books are great. As Ulli said, “A book can have many lives and last many years.” I love that! I will provide a collection box, flyers, and posters about the project for you to set up in your business. I’ll come by to collect books every week, or more often if you call me and let me know your box is full: Becky Brothers, 615-336-9956.

2) Plastic storage bins and shelving. Again, one reason they lost so much was that their books were stored in cardboard boxes on the floor. Waterproofing their storage would have helped a lot. I’ll also come by to get these, if you aren’t able to send them onto Pencil yourself at the address below.

3) Volunteers. As books come in and when the book fair itself approaches, Pencil Foundation will need man power to carry, sort, display, and distribute books. I’ll be in contact with Ulli about this, but anyone who wants to go ahead and volunteer can go to the Pencil website: www.pencilfoundation.org and click on “Volunteer”. As we get closer to the “Book ‘SALE’” date, the Pencil site and my site, www.rebeccabrothers.com will provide more details.

Book bloggers and friends on the Internet, we need you! Blog and link to us to spread the word, and send any books you can spare.

Books can be mailed media rate:

LP PENCIL Box at McCann ALC
1300 56th Ave North
Nashville, TN 37209

For questions about A Dry Read: New Books For Nashville, please email me, Becky Brothers, at becky_brothers@yahoo.com and visit my blog, www.rebeccabrothers.com to read more updates on the project. Look for this symbol on my website:

Pencil Blog Button.jpg


Elizabeth Willse

Freelance Writer/Book Reviewer
www.elizabethwillse.com
NY Beer Pairing Examiner: tinyurl.com/beerfoodie
Editor: PinkyShears.


62 Responses to "Time to Bring Back the Books"

  • Thanks for organizing this very worthy project! Just blogged about it here and will be sending off a box of books tomorrow:

    http://bettyboochronicles.blogspot.com/2010/06/bringing-back-books-to-nashville.html

    1 Melissa said this (June 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm)


  • Amazing! This is really starting to take off, all because of people like you. Thanks SO much!

    2 Rebecca Brothers said this (June 22, 2010 at 9:13 am)


  • YEAH! I love your blog–so stylish! And this is just amazing to me. So many people have been so eager to help. THANK YOU!

    3 Rebecca Brothers said this (June 22, 2010 at 9:14 am)


  • I’m going to send this link to my book club members and see if we can’t get a box of books for you. :)

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  • YEAH! Thank you so much!

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