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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Storybook Project Of Arkansas Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Crime & Law, Inmate Support

Mission: The mission of our prison outreach program is to keep families connected during incarceration through the joy of reading.

Results: We have helped about 12,000 parents and grandparents reach over 18,000 children in over 20 states with the message that they are loved and missed, even if they are far away.

Target demographics: Families with an incarcerated loved one

Direct beneficiaries per year: Last year, we sent home over 500 books and CDs to children in over 20 states, and this year we will more than double our impact.

Geographic areas served: Five units in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and a county jail

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Storybook Project is such a simple but extremely worthwhile opportunity to give time or money for an enormous impact on the lives of children. Bonds are made between families separated by incarceration just by an inmate reading a book and Storybook Project making the recording and sending it and the book to a child. What a great gift for a child from a family member, mother, father, aunt or uncle or grandparent, and we get to help.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered today and had a great experience. It’s really rewarding to help inmates be a positive influence in the lives of children they love. All the men I met today were eager to encourage their kids and affirm their love for them. It was especially touching to hear the pride in their voices when they talked about their children.

Pam P.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Today was my first day to volunteer for StorybookAR. It was the most rewarding experience I've had in a long time. The women who chose and read the books to their children and grandchildren were grateful and amazed that the recordings of their voices (reading the books for their children) would include the books themselves. They were anxious to be connected to their families while incarcerated. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about everyone who volunteered, all who courageously participated in reading the books, and to the facility for giving us permission to come.. And as so often happens, the question stands. Who is doing the giving and who is receiving? I think we all won in that regard.

1 Beth Q.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Storybook Project allows families to keep build connections through books and read alouds. As a literacy teacher, I know the impact of parents reading to children. This organizations allows families that are not currently together to still have that time spent developing a family of readers. The Storybook Project offers a variety of volunteer opportunities so whatever your schedule is, there is a way to help. Volunteering with the org is something I always look forward to. I have spent time working on packaging the recordings and books to be mailed. Because I work during the week, the package parties are a great way for me to be involve. So thankful for this service and mission here in Arkansas.

1 Miriam D.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is such a great organization that helps keep families with an incarcerated loved one connected through reading. When volunteering, I love seeing the parent/loved one brim with excitement as they read a story to their little one. It really warms my heart to be able to offer a child this connection with their parent/loved one. Also working with one of the most committed and hardworking women I know, Denise, is a plus!

1 Lisa S.20

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Storybook Project of Arkansas provides a vital opportunity for incarcerated parents to bond with their children and build/continue connections to their world outside of prison. This is beneficial for the children and the parents, as a parent who feels bonded to their children has much greater motivation to establish a healthy lifestyle when released and not re-offend. Feeling isolated from their family is a real issue for incarcerated individuals, and the inmates I recorded were very sincerely appreciative of being able to send a "gift" to their child -- and multiple inmates stated that they were actively working to figure out their life so that they could rebuild the relationships with their children and care for them when they get out and that this was the best way they had to establish those bonds.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This project, which is more than 20 years old, is a hidden gem. The volunteers reach thousands of children throughout the nation by allowing their (Department of Corrections-approved) incarcerated parents and grandparents to read stories to their families. The readings are recorded, and the books and recording are sent to the children several times a year. The feedback from families; inmates; prison officials, guards and chaplains, lets us know that this is a healing and productive effort which affords inmates not only a crucial way to be a part of their children's lives but also a better chance at moving back into society once their sentences are complete by maintaining family ties. As a volunteer, I am blessed and moved every time we visit a prison or jail.

1 Veronique O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found out about the Story Book Project through a friend. I love it. I love the idea of enabling parents to communicate with their children and for children to be able to hear their mother's or father's voice and know they are not forgotten.
Being incarcerated is dehumanizing so anything that can alleviate this problem is worth my time.
I went last week to a women's prison and after recording, one of the women went to her friend and very proudly said: "I did it and I did not cry this time!". She was very content. As whole, these mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends were very grateful to us for giving them this opportunity.
it is definitely worth giving them one morning of my time once in a while.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found out about Storybook Project through another group that I volunteer for Compassion Works For All. I was intrigued to say the least when I heard what they were doing and I wanted to get involved. Words fail to express the impact of what is being done. The mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles all get a chance to send a message and read a book to their child. Seeing the impact of what that means is indescribable. I've gotten to talk with some who have done this before and have heard how much the kids enjoy getting the books and cd. It is a privilege to be able to volunteer with a group that is doing something that has such impact. Thanks very much to Storybook Project Of Arkansas for affording me the opportunity to be a part of such wonderful work.

1 Ann C.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing opportunity Storybook Project of Arkansas offers! The inmates were thrilled at the chance to connect with their loved ones! Without exception each woman very carefully chose just the right book and then, often fighting back tears, lovingly spoke into the mic, thankfully for the opportunity for her voice to be heard. For women and children grieving separation from their loved ones, Storybook Project brings a bit of joy. What an amazing gift to both the inmate and their families!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can’t say enough about how rewarding it is to be a part of the Storybook Project. Fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and yesterday, a sibling, being recorded reading to the children they are separated from. There is enormous power in a child being read to, especially by a loved one, a gift that can last a lifetime. There is also a wonderful gift to the reader, who in a prison environment, has few opportunities to connect meaningfully to the children they are absent from. Readers are often very emotional and are so very grateful for this opportunity. It is an extremely rewarding volunteer experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard about the Storybook Project of Arkansas when I was a newspaper reporter. I covered the state prison system - on and off - for many years. After leaving the paper, I accepted a job with the Arkansas Department of Correction and saw first-hand the importance of keeping inmates connected with their families - especially their children. I'm so happy to finally be able to volunteer for this organization. It means so much to both the inmates and their children to be able to share a storybook together. I treasure my memories of reading bedtime stories to my children and I'm so honored to help those who are incarcerated create special memories of their own.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Storybook Project of Arkansas is an amazing organization that does so much good. They bring children's books into the prisons and have parents (grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc.) read to the children they left behind on the "outside." This helps the children feel loved and cared for - and it means the world to them. Reading to and staying connected to their loved ones is also an evidence-based approach to reducing recidivism. It helps the incarcerated individuals with the motivation they need to do the right thing, take steps to better themselves, so they can get out and stay out in the future. I am proud to have volunteered with the Storybook Project and hope to do so again in the future - as it was so rewarding.