Mission: Books are gems, formerly known as gem's gems, has been putting books into the hands of children since 2003. We offer our 5 free book program to children where they can come in once a month and take home 5 free books of their interest. We have intensified our efforts and are primarily now focused on reaching children who come from families from limited literacy and limited means. We have given over 800,000 books to el paso children and teachers since 2003. Estimated total for volunteers in 2014 is 9,000 hours.
Programs: Our five free books program gave away over 56,000 books and reached a total of 4,000 families for the year of 2014. This is just the recorded amount, however there were times when we visted schools and literacy groups that didn't allow us the time to keep track of how many books were given away. We continue to work with hundreds of teachers in all school districts in el paso including ysleta, soccoro and episd. In addition we allow each teacher to take 25 free books (classroom set) per year and an unlimited amount of teachers' reference books and materials.
we tested 110 students. We had 5 reading camps, 110 children were selected to participate in either our june or july (month long) summer reading camp. The children that were selected were identified to be at least 2 levels below their reading level. There were a total of 40 volunteers, 15 tutors, and 5 alternatives/per camp that participated. Also, there were a total of 1200 volunteer hours per camp donated. The camp was run 9 til noon, monday through friday. Children received one on one tutoring and participated in literacy center activities such as education board and computer games.
first book distribution program. We purchased thousands of books through the 1st book program. In addition to the five free books (used) we also allow each child to take 1 new book each per visit. These books are specifically placed in the hands of children so that they can add the new book to their personal library.
Professional with expertise in this field
I found out GEMS GEMS is now BOOKS ARE GEMS and they are at 7745 North Loop in the back northwest corner of Compass Bank in the lower valley. What a gem of a bookstore doing remarkable work for the community children. Each child can have at no cost six books (1 new book and 5 gently used books) on a monthly basis. There are materials and supplies for teachers and home school teachers. There are even adult books available. This is a valuable resource for families.
Went here looking for some good chapter books for my kids when buying them new was too expensive. They each got to choose 5 free used books, and as a Teacher, I got to take up to 25 free books plus teaching material. The selection is always different, and there's even a huge room of adult level books they sell for $1-2--tons of popular authors, too!
The staff is super friendly, and they didn't mind us being there for a couple of hours, perusing the shelves.