Schoolchildren run the BookEnds book drives. They sort the books for quality and age appropriateness, deliver the books, and read to children at the receiving schools. The kids see the impact of their work and look forward to helping again.
In 2012, 50 BookEnds drives resulted in 237,000 donated books that reached 50,000 kids. “Not only are we providing the books, building libraries, and enriching imaginations, we also are empowering young children to know they can make a difference in their communities,” explained Keefe.
The need for this program is universal, but 7 million books are needed in the Los Angeles area alone to raise school test scores to the national average.
BookEnds puts the greatest emphasis on getting books into the hands of children before they reach third grade. Studies have shown that it is important to teach children how to read early so they don’t miss the next steps in the learning process as they advance. Many of these children don’t have books at home and can’t read as a daily requirement.
The schools and teachers that receive the donated books are selected by BookEnds based on needs of the children and the school. The recipient schools are interviewed to find out what kind of books they need. The selected donations are sorted and tailored to meet those needs.
The children from the selected schools get involved by helping unload the books when delivered, thereby sharing bonding time with the kids who donated the books.