Season's Readings!: Give Books this Holiday Season

This Christmas Season, I wanted to do something to give back and serve others.

I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education, so of course education is very near and dear to my heart. When I heard that a friend I graduated with went from teaching Kindergarten to teaching 4th grade this year, I knew that her classroom library likely left something to be desired.

Building a classroom library is HARD! It takes teachers many years of buying books with their own money and getting a few as gifts each year. So I wanted to help with that.

I collected books in a variety of ways and ended up with enough to bless TWO classrooms with books for their classroom libraries, instead of just the one I was planning on! I was able to collect a grand total of 64 books... and I'm going to be giving this 4th grade teacher a whopping 55 books for her new classroom library! 

Wondering how I did it? Well good news... I'm going to tell you, so you can do it too!

1) Ask your neighbors.

We have a neighborhood Facebook page, which is very helpful in times like this! I simply posted what I was doing and two neighbors dropped off boxes of books to my home! If you don't have an online forum where you can ask for help, you might try making flyers and distributing them throughout the neighborhood indicating a collection day and time in which you will come around and pick up the books people leave on their porch, OR make announcements in your local church meetings to spur community involvement. 

2) Shop Thrift Stores

I went to three different local thrift stores to gather books for this project. We have a store that sells all books for only $1! We also have charity thrift stores like Deseret Industries, Savers, TAGS, and Good Will that we can use to shop for books at good prices. It is AMAZING what you can find if you are willing to shop around! I made sure to only pick good quality used books. Since these were being donated to a classroom library I made sure the covers were in good condition, there was minimal writing on the inside and outside, and the pages weren't bent. This is one of the benefits of picking out the books yourself; you can pick good quality books that are perfect for the grade level you're donating.

I simply took an amount in cash out of my budget for the month of November. I took it out of my normal hobby/book/fun allotment. Then I used that money to buy used books for this class. Since I've been so blessed,  it feels good to pass it on!

3) Go through your stash

I picked out books to donate from my own bookshelves. I also made a visit to my mom's house and went through my books that I had left there. That was the gold mine! These were books that were from when I was younger (aka 4th grade!) so they were perfect to donate to this class! Plus side, I was always very careful with my books so they were in excellent condition. 

During the holidays we find ourselves at family's homes often. Take a moment and ask for donations/ browse your childhood book collection to see if there is anything there that would bless the class you're helping. 

That's it! Three steps! Now I have a large box of books to donate to my friend's 4th grade classroom, as well as a surprise box of books to donate to another friend's 6th grade classroom!
I think this is going to be a new Christmas tradition at my house!

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