The Issue: School Libraries Lack Adequate Books
In 2007, California public-school libraries stocked approximately 18 books per student, with an average copyright date from 1993, according to data from the California Department of Education. In the wake of budget cuts, school-library resources are dwindling to the point that in 2009, librarian layoffs made it impossible for students to even check out books in some districts, the School Library Journal reported. Without adequate resources, students from low-income backgrounds may not be able to dedicate the necessary time to become strong readers.
The Campaign: Distributing Books to Elementary Students
If 40 people donate $8 to this Grassroots campaign, then BookEnds can distribute $1,600 worth of books—roughly 200 books—to youth at Sixty-Eighth Street Elementary School. The books will be donated to a student-run book drive, the participants of which will distribute the materials to the 1,200 students in kindergarten through the fifth grade at Sixty-Eighth Street Elementary. With the focus on kids helping kids, BookEnds hopes to instill a sense of community service in the distributers and to provide opportunities for students from low-income backgrounds to become skilled readers with greater access to books. Each additional $8 raised will provide an additional $40 worth of books.
Check out more Groupon Grassroots campaigns here.
In 1998, 8-year-old Brandon was staying home from school with a cold. His mom took him to a board of directors meeting at the Hollygrove children’s home, where people were discussing how to build a library for the 60 youths who lived there. Once he got back to school, he started telling his friends that kids at the orphanage needed books, and asked them to donate the ones they had outgrown. On the last day of school before winter break, Brandon surprised his mom as she drove to pick him up—he was standing on the sidewalk surrounded by hundreds of books for the kids. Because they had more books than the children’s home needed, Brandon’s mom started knocking on doors to give the extra books away to children without books. Their combined efforts started BookEnds to help all children experience the joy of reading.
Today, Bookends gathers recycled children’s books and distributes them through student-run book drives at local schools. The students select only high-quality books that will inspire youth to read, then sort and personally deliver the donations. Since its inception, more than 220,000 students have been involved in organizing drives, delivering more than 2.1 million books to 520,000 underserved children.