Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Chiles Book Drive donates over 3,000 books

In early December, students at Lawton Chiles High School in Tallahassee, FL made a plan to give a big gift for the holiday season. Together with faculty Book Club advisor Stephanie Smith, the students collected over 3,000 books and donated them to Hartsfield Elementary and Havana Magnet Schools.
    Mary Jo Peltier, media specialist at Hartsfield Elementary, was thrilled to have the books just before the holiday season.
    "What an amazing gift this has been!" she said. "We sorted through all the books to divide by grade level and all of our children were able to visit the Media Center and select two books. There was great excitement."
    Kameelah Weeks, media specialist at Havana Magnet said over 700 students in her school received books. She said watching her students receive books was personally important to her.
    "Growing up as a kid, the only bookshelf in our house was in my room and my mom did all she could, even if it meant placing books people gave her, like Stephen King and Reader's Digest to fill the shelves," Ms. Weeks said. "So it means as much to me as it does our students because I know many of them are in the same or similar situations."
    The book drive was organized with Kids in Need -- Books in Deed by Ms. Smith and the Chiles High School students. The students put up posters, decorated collection boxes, sorted and boxed all the books. 
    "It was truly incredible being able to partner with each of the schools," Ms. Smith said. "I’m so excited to hear the responses from the students."
    Kids in Need -- Books in Deed co-founder, Julianna Baggott, also did a Skype session with the Chiles Book Club to talk about literacy, writing and publishing books.
    "I was very impressed with these students," Ms. Baggott said. "Not only are they a smart and inquisitive group, they're also engaged in the greater community." 

    Kids in Need -- Books in Deed is a non-profit organization which is housed at the FSU Foundation and serves underprivileged children in the state of Florida.

For more information, contact David Scott at

Monday, June 8, 2015

KIN-BID sponsors author visit

Author Donna Gephart visited Liberty Park Elementary School in Greenacres, FL on April 8, and she had a little surprise with her. Donna was able to give each child at Liberty Park a signed copy of one of her books, thanks to a donation from Kids in Need -- Books in Deed.
     Ms. Gephart did a presentation for each grade, reading just enough of the book that the students were to receive. The students loved the reading, and as she concluded, many were groaning, "Don't stop reading!"  Then she made the big announcement that they would each receive a new book, signed by the author.  
     "You should have heard their cheers, seen the looks on their faces," Gephart said. "I then had the opportunity to meet each student and sign his or her book. It was magical."
     A film crew was on hand to capture some of that magic, and interviewed some of the students for a piece that aired on the local PBS channel and the school district's Web site.  [
     "My favorite moment was when one third grade girl said, 'When someone asks if I like reading, I say 'No! I don't like reading. I LOVE reading!'" Ms. Gephart said. "Thanks so much to Kids in Need -- Books in Deed for making a substantive difference in so many lives . . . including mine."
     Author visits and book donations are possible at Title I schools in the state of Florida. For more information, contact David Scott at

Friday, June 1, 2012

Montford school makes great gift!

A student at Montford Middle school organized a book drive that lead to the largest gift of gently used books in the six year history of Kids in Need -- Books in Deed. Micah Joyner started a book drive at Montford Middle school, and collected over 2,500 books. It is the single largest donation to the program. This event created a literacy shockwave across the community of Tallahassee.

"Micah created a tremendous positive effect on the entire Tallahassee community," said founder Julianna Baggott. "Because of her efforts, hundreds of children in Tallahassee will have books of their own for the summer."

Having books in the home is a key to literacy. Book ownership, really having books kids love is another key to reading.

Media Specialists from several elementary and middle school accepted the books, and knew just how they would use them.

Melissa Ingram, Media Specialist at Woodville School, received books with open arms.
"I am always impressed by how well our teachers know their students and how much they care for them. In the past, teachers have purchased books out-of-pocket to make sure their students did not go without.  Thanks for making it easier for them to show their love in such an important and powerful way.  What a joy to pass the gift you gave us on to our students!"

Books were delivered to Hartsfield Elementary, Woodville Elementary, Fort Braden School, Nims Middle and Bond Elementary.

This is just one of many stories that have already happened, and will continue to happen for the rest of the school year because of Micah's efforts and the Montford community's generosity.

Friday, April 20, 2012

E-Books or Print Books -- for kids?

This article discusses how ebooks are trumping sales over print books except when it comes to reading aloud to kids. (If interested, read the comment section for the individual takes on why this might be the case.)

Click here to read the article.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Our Brains and Books

Our Brains and Books -- The Neurobiological Upsides to Reading

Recently The New York Times ran a piece on the real-life benefits to reading. "[Reading].... is an exercise that hones our real-life social skills, another body of research suggests. Dr. Oatley and Dr. Mar, in collaboration with several other scientists, reported in two studies, published in 2006 and 2009, that individuals who frequently read fiction seem to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and see the world from their perspective."

Click here to read the whole article.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Over 1200 Books Donated!

This week over 1200 books were collected at Holy Comforter Episcopal School in Tallahassee to be distributed around the state of Florida through the Supervised Visitation Program with is run through Florida State University.

The book drive, organized and run by students in the Beta Outreach Committee, was a month-long school-wide project, culminating in the delivery of books to Zachary Summerlin, who works at the Institute for Family Violence at FSU.

"We started the pilot project last fall, and everyone loved it!" Summerlin said. "These books have a huge impact on the children."

Supervised visitation programs provide a safe space for children to spend time with their parents in abuse, neglect, and other serious cases. There are non-profit supervised visitation programs in every judicial circuit in Florida. Their motto is protecting children, connecting families. The books go to the counselors who hand them to the children in their care.

"We're amazed by the generous donation from Holy Comforter students and families, who have been steadfast supporters of literacy," said co-founder Julianna Baggott. "And we feel strongly about delivering these books to the Supervised Visitation Program. The work that these professionals are doing with kids is inspiring."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Inspired by the Generosity of Children

Every so often a family will donate books to Kids in Need - Books in Deed out of the blue. We would like to thank Jonathan and Christopher who made room for new books on their shelves this year by donating their old favorites. We would like to thank Bella for inviting friends to donate books at her birthday party. We're inspired by the natural generosity of kids who want to share good books with other children.