First Book National Book Bank
Mayfield United Methodist Church
First Book National Book Bank is a nonprofit organization from Washington D.C. that connects publishers and community organizations to provide access to new books for children in need. Their mission is to end illiteracy among our nation’s students. They have distributed over 100 million books to date. They also have plans to become a leader in providing digital resources in the future. Through their efforts, they want students to flourish as readers. They have conducted a study that proved students who receive these books have improved interest in reading, have an increased desire to learn and 70% are reading more at home. I would like the students at Adrian to have the chance to be positively affected by these books.
First Book National Book Bank offers grant possibilities from different cities throughout the year. They offer a variety of titles at each distribution. The books are grouped by age range. To be eligible for these grants, our school must be a school-wide Title I school or have a certain percentage of students on free and reduced lunch. Once I provide the school’s demographics and statistics, Adrian qualifies to apply for these grants. When a distribution is posted, I review all the titles of books available and I go on the internet and explore the description of the book and reviews from trusted sources. I then determine if the contents of the book align with any of our grade level common core curriculum standards. If the contents indeed do align with our goals, I think of writing, math, science or social science connections. I then write the grant asking for those specific books and describe the activities I will share with our students. First Book encourages grant writers to ask for many and a variety of books. After closing a distribution, they do the best job they can to match the amount of books they have available with the different requests they have received. The more options they are given, the greater the likelihood of them being able to fulfill part of the request. The books are brand new, free and are expected to become the personal property of the students. The only cost of the grant is a $0.45- $0.85 per book shipping and handling fee.
I want to sincerely thank First Book, Adrian PTA and Mayfield United Methodist Church for their generous gifts to Adrian Elementary School. Adrian PTA and Mayfield United Methodist Church have covered the cost of postage for the books. With their help, I have been able to secure grants from First Book National Book Bank for 4,622 books. The books range in price from $3.99 - $17.99. These books have been distributed to every student at Adrian. All of our students have books of his/her very own that he/she cherish. The total monetary value of these books is $43,705.78. The total student value of these books is unlimited.
I just want to share a couple of examples of how their gifts have affected our students. First of all, you would think I had candy in those First Book boxes. On more than one occasion, I have had third graders, both girls and boys, come into my classroom during recess to ask me for the latest copies of books we have just received. I am often approached in the hallway by students of all ages thanking me for the books and then asking or telling me about the book they are currently reading or one they have heard about and wanted to read. I find this significant for several reasons. One is that this lets me know our students are talking about books not only with me but with each other. Another important fact is that there is an interest for reading from both the girls and boys. One thing I have learned from 24 years of teaching is that girls are usually more motivated to read than boys. These gifts have helped me motivate all of our students to read. A motivated reader cannot help but become a more accomplished reader.
Besides encouraging our students to read for pure enjoyment, I use the books in ways to support skills our students are learning at their current grade level. With the books from a summer distribution, I made lesson plans for this fall. I have a set of 10 beginning reading books for every new kindergartner and first grader. Mickey Mouse is teaching them about friends, community and feelings. I had Spider-Man books that I shared with all second and third graders at Adrian. These books helped me teach about our student’s “great powers and great responsibilities” at school. I hope you can tell from reading this how excited I am about sharing these books with our students.
Thank you again First Book, Adrian PTA and Mayfield United Methodist Church for your generosity.
Learning Resource Teacher
Adrian Elementary School