Archive | 5:48 am

Doing good, one book at a time

19 Dec

Earlier in the year, teachers were challenged to come up with a service project for their Lit Core + class. This is a class I see every other day that has rather vague criteria.

I grumbled a bit when the announcement was made. Because I see them for only 40 minutes every other day, it would be impossible to go anywhere to perform meaningful community service. I looked into all sorts of options. And then I found something right on my doorstep.


Here’s their Mission Statement

We believe children’s books have the power to make the world a better place: Books open minds to limitless possibilities, spark curiosity and strengthen bonds. CBB exists because, otherwise, most Portland children experiencing poverty would not have their own books.

Last year, CBB filled 10,099 children’s homes with community-donated books to keep and enjoy over and over again. We eliminate “booklessness” by mobilizing the community to give underserved children books that increase vocabulary and early reading skills, foster critical brain development and a love of reading, and support parent-child bonding.

This project seemed right up my alley – and their warehouse was a few minutes drive from my house. I could easily drop the books off on my way home.

I spoke to my students. I sent a letter home to parents. I told them that, as middle schoolers they probably had books in the house they’d outgrown. I told them that of there was a book they loved, their heart book, they should not donate it. I told students I hoped we could fill a box. And the response was immediate. Within 12 hours, a parent emailed me back, telling me how she had volunteered there recently and had been inspired. Books arrived in class the next day we met.

Yeah, I told students I hoped we could fill a box. They filled three.


Not every student in class brought a book. A few kids really brought in most of the books. But a lot of kids brought in one. I am now hoping we get asked to do a service project next Fall. I already know what we are going to do.

You can find out more about the work of the Children’s Book Bank, and how you can help, by visiting their website:


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