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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Books for Keeps

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: Books for keeps works to improve children's reading achievement by addressing barriers related to the accessibility and appeal of reading material. The organization gives books to children whose reading opportunities outside of school might be otherwise limited due to income, geography, or other factors.

Results: Books for Keeps has given away more than 450,000 books to children in Georgia through a research-based program. We are evaluating the impact of our efforts, too, and have initial data to show that our program is moving the needle, actually helping increase the numbers of children reading on or above grade level after just a single summer of books from our program.

Target demographics: Placing books in the hands of children who might otherwise own none.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 7,800 students in 18 elementary schools

Geographic areas served: Georgia

Programs: In 2018, Books for Keeps gave away 95,000 books to children in Georgia. Since its inception in 2009, the organization has given away more than 450,000 books. The goal: to stop the summertime learning loss that is all too common among children from low-income families. We give books away in the schools, inviting children to choose and take home 12 free books each from among new and like-new, high-interest titles.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Ally D.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Books for Keeps is awesome! I love what they do for the students in Clarke County!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the moment that you choose to either participate in volunteer activities or attend a book sale, you will be amazed with how kind, professional, organized and motivated they are to help the community.

I volunteered to help with the organization of books a few months before the book sale. We spent a few hours organizing and sorting books. The system that they had in place was easy to learn and we all had a good time looking through the interesting books and deciding which category they belonged. I also had a great time at the books sale in any way that I could. This money is given back to community via local schools. This is a great organization and I highly recommend that you be involved with them in any capacity.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Books for Keeps is an amazing non-profit in Athens, GA that has a very specific and focused mission - to provide books for children that might not otherwise have access to them over the summer school break. It has been shown that kids who do not read over the summer experience "summer slide" and start out the new school year at a disadvantage. Our community has a very high poverty rate and this one non-profit is doing something tangible to help bring equity to our community.

Books-for-Keeps is dedicated to making sure all kids in our community get 12 brand new books at the end of the school year so they can read over the summer. I have watched children react with unparalleled joy and excitement when they get to choose 12 books to take home. It is like Christmas in May!

BFK spends the year raising funds to buy these books so children have an incredible range and variety to choose from. The organization is extremely well run, has a fabulous small staff, and an amazing volunteer base, and will soon reach every K-5 school child in our county with hopes to expand to the entire state. What an amazingly simple yet effective goal - to help children learn the joy and passion of becoming a life-long reader. I have been involved in all phases of book acquisition, fund-raising, and book distribution and it has become my favorite non-profit to date!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Helping kids receive their own books is such rewarding experience - seeing how excited they are and all the beautiful smiles on their faces! I'm a volunteer all year round - helping in the warehouse or office, distribution of books to kids at schools and at the annual fund raising book sale. This was just what I was looking for when I retired.

1 Angela W.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a long time volunteer, I can attest that this nonprofit does everything the right way. The small staff is dedicated and makes it a pleasure to serve as a volunteer, from warehouse to distribution days. Funds are used wisely and the cause is one that is dear to all our hearts. But, it’s not just a “feel good” story. Research has proved that Books for Keeps positively impacts students by stopping “summer slide”, and actually raising reading levels. The attached photo of my friend Marnie and me illustrates the joy of volunteering at a book distribution day!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Way over 90,000 books given to several school districts in Georgia—particularly in Athens-Clarke County!

Books for Keeps is well organized, well managed, and well....the BEST!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the most amazing organization I have ever worked with and the best part is that they are local and they were started by one local woman who just wanted to make a small difference. If you truly want to make a direct impact in the local schools this is the place. Being a part of the book distributions is so rewarding. The kids love it and it's wonderful to know that this program has actual data to prove what they do is having a positive effect on the community.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an incredibly well run organization. They are passionate about what they do and they do it very very well. SO impressed with all of the employees and the volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am devoted to Books for Keeps’ mission and all that they do for children so they do not fall behind in their studies during the summer months. Many of us take for granted our access to libraries and book stores. There are a lot of children who do not have that access. Books are magic and it’s wonderful to see children reading their new books that they have chosen. Books for Keeps is a valuable part of our community.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've donated and volunteered with Books for Keeps for the past 4 years. My first year helping out with book distributions at an Athens elementary school, I heard one young student say to another, "This is just like Christmas, only better!". That hooked me. The purpose of this program is to give young children a chance to stay ahead academically through access to summer reading. But the heart of Books for Keeps lies in the simple truth that children will know the magical wonder of reading if we can remove barriers to owning their own books.

2 Jennifer M.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family LOVES BFKs! This will be our 3rd year to attend their book sale!
So organized and dedicated, you can feel the love and caring in the atmosphere. Bless you for all that you do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Books for Keeps is a MARVELOUS organization I've been honored to volunteer with for a number of years. As a member of Athens Lions club I have arranged book donations, helped in the warehouse, solicited donations, and assisted numerous times during school book distributions. I look forward to many years working together!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Books for Keeps for a year now and it's amazing to see how much this nonprofit does right here in Athens. The staff is incredible and you can see just how committed they are to the mission and purpose of their organization. After volunteering at school distributions for the first time this spring, it warmed my heart to see how excited each of the children became when they saw all the tables of new books that they got to choose for themselves. Their passion for reading is evident in their enthusiasm and eagerness to race friends to get a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid or carefully pick out picture books that they can read to their younger siblings who are not yet old enough to be in the program.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Books for Keeps for a year now. I can tell you this is a very well-run and exciting charity. They do so much good in our community, especially with students who are not used to having brand new books of their own at home. The kids get so excited at the annual book give-away. A lot of hard work all year goes into it and I am very proud to be a part of such a good cause. I've helped behind the scene at the warehouse, and with the actual give-away at the schools, so I've seen the big picture of background work and joyful excitement of the kids at the end. I believe it helps keep these kids reading all summer.