In the last blog, we talked about how books and snowflakes have a thing in common. The more of each you have in your life, the more your circumstances change. Get a few books here and there, not much will change. Get a few snowflakes here and there, not much will change. But get a blizzard’s worth of snowflakes, or a blizzard’s worth of books..change gon’ come!
Why do we need a blizzard’s worth of books? Research shows that more books in the home mean children read more, read better, and perform better academically. The pandemic has made it harder for children to get to public libraries and school libraries, so now is a great time to build home libraries. Do it for your children or someone else’s!
So, how do we get a blizzard’s worth of books into a child’s life? We can start the way the snowstorm starts – with a few books at a time. We are calling it the Look at My Books Campaign. Set a goal of getting at least 20 more books into your house, a student or child in your community’s house, or join our local campaign in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area.
Here’s how we can begin.
FREE BOOKS – The easiest way to build a child’s library is to stock it with free books.
So where can we find free books? Here are 4 Places to Pick Up FREE Books!
- Literacy programs – Ask teachers at your school, the PTA, your local librarian, local government officials and social service organizations about literacy programs in your community that offer free books. Usually, these programs give free books throughout the year. Also, libraries often partner with literacy programs to give away free books at their locations. Earlier this year, I worked with three literacy/education programs in Florida that gave away my books to hundreds of children in honor of Martin Luther King Day.
- Head Start, Day care programs, Schools, and After-school programs – Programs that provide education and recreational activities for children often are connected to literacy programs, which donate free books. Or, they might have their own book giveaway program. Ask around.
- Author Giveaways – Authors LOVE to sell books and they also LOVE to give away books! Authors LOVE to give away books to children who are hungry to read. I have given away thousands upon thousands of books in my life. It’s one of my greatest joys to see children treat a new book as if it were a hot fudge sundae — something they can’t wait to dig into! In honor of this blog, the first five people to email firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a free copy of one of three books: Darius Daniels: Game On! (a middle grade novel), Barack Obama: A Hip Hop Tale of King’s Dream Come True, or Kara Finds Sunshine on a Rainy Day. Also, check the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages of your other favorite authors to find about about their giveaways.
- Friends, family, religious institutions – In the process of moving from my first house, I was amazed to that I still had more than 200 books, which I had purchased for my daughters when they were in preschool and early elementary. I gave those books to a family member who had a young daughter and encouraged her to give some away to friends and family who had young children, too. I continue to this day to go through my stock of books to find books to give away. I also belong to a church where people bring new and gently used books from their homes to our bookstore so that we can also give away books. So ask around. Ask your friends, ask family, ask people who attend religious institutions, are involved with sororities, fraternities, other social organizations and non-profits, and those who work at government organizations, if they have books they’d like to donate to help a child build a home library.
So, there you have it. Let’s get going on our Look atMy Books Campaign, to help children make homes for lots more books and begin to talk about their collections, and eventually share with someone else! And please, take us along on your journey. Drop us a line or a photo and let us know how you’re doing, who’s been helpful, and any new resources you find. If your children already have plenty of books then let’s work together to find other children who could benefit from some of the books you already have or books you’re ready to go out and find. And let’s all have fun!