Monday, November 21, 2011

Parents: Read to Your Kids

More Data Proves that Reading Pays Off

One of the things Kids in Need - Books in Deed strives to do is get books into the homes of underprivileged kids. Books in the home is a primary indicator for literacy. Read about this new study written up in The New York Times -- and see how crucial it is for children to be read aloud to. The long-term benefits are proven.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

School kids, soccer kids donate books

The past few weeks two separate book drives have been underway. Laura Powell, a teacher at Holy Comforter Episcopal School in Tallahassee, was at the helm again this year, helping to collect books for Kids in Need - Books in Deed. The students and faculty at HCES have been hugely generous over the years, giving thousands of books to this program. They clear out their bookshelves of books they've outgrown and make room for the books they're growing into, all the while passing beloved books onto others. It's not just the sheer quantity of books that come from HCES but also an incredible quality, including classics, bestsellers, and award-winning titles.

At the same time, Tallahassee United Futbol Club ( was running its first book drive. Soccer players of all ages showed up each week with cleats, shin guards, soccer balls ... and bags of books. Kids in Need -- Books in Deed is very thankful to TUFC director, Alex Minton, for his support of kids in our community and for promoting both generosity and literacy.

Books will be donated to the supervised visitation program at Florida State University and shipped out to underprivileged children throughout the state.

Friday, November 4, 2011

800 Books, Author Visit Donated

This week approximately 500 children's books were donated to the supervised visitation program at FSU. A good portion of these books came from Maclay School, an independent school in Tallahassee with a college preparatory curriculum for young people from Pre-School (ages 3 & 4) through 12th grade and a strong dedication to service. Others came from private donations. The books will be shipped all over the state and will be put into the hands of underprivileged children -- of all ages -- who are not currently residing with their parents. This is a wonderful opportunity because the books can be hand-picked and given as gifts to individual children who need them most.

On Nov. 3, the brilliant and ebullient author Laurel Snyder spoke to 300 students at Bonita Springs Elementary, a Title I school in Bonita Springs, FL. Every child got a free copy of one of Laurel's books -- The Maclay School made this visit possible because of their generous donation this spring. Laurel was in the area as a speaker and workshop leader at the Sanibel Island Writers Conference. And so this completely free author visit was the result of a group effort between The Sanibel Island Writers Conference, run by Tom Demarchi; Maclay High School's students' fundraising efforts led by the chair of their English Department, Lee Normant; Bonita Springs Elementary and their principal David Short; of course, Laurel Synder, who donated her time and energy, and Kids in Need - Books in Deed who pulled all of these wonderful, generous people together.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Maclay and Holy Comforter make donations

Two schools in Tallahassee have given generously to Kids in Need -- Books in Deed this spring.

Maclay School chose Kids in Need -- Books in Deed as their school-wide charity. They had a book drive and raised money all year. The student-driven charity program presented a check to Julianna Baggott in early June. Lee Norment, the group's supervisor, said that Maclay's chapter of The National Honor Society ran a book drive and donated those books to KIN -- BID as well.

Holy Comforter Episcopal School also ran a book drive, and collected hundreds of gently used books for their donation. Holy Comforter has consistently run this type of books drive, and give thousands of books to those kids who need them all over Tallahasse, FL.
KIN -- BID thanks all of the teachers and students at Maclay and Holy Comforter for their generous support of the program.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Testimonials (Part 2)

At Nims Middle School (Tallahassee, FL) we have successfully given out hundreds of books donated by Kids in Need -- Books in Deed to our students. We have them available in the library in a special bin with a large sign that says "Want a book?" I also have placed books on a cart with "Free book" signs hanging from it. I then take the cart down to the cafeteria during lunch and "sell" the books to students. I believe in students building home library collections and the donations received through KIN -- BID have truly helped out our efforts at Nims.
-- Jennifer Mock, Media Specialist

Thank you, thank you Kids in Need -- Books in Deed. Hartsfield Elementary School (Tallahassee, FL) was the recent, grateful recipient of hundreds of childrens books - just in time for summer. Most of our students come from families with little or no reading material at home and no easy access to a public library, yet it's so important for them to keep reading over the summer. Summer can be a time of learning loss and our kids cannot afford it. The donation we received allowed all of our students to choose one or two books to take home and keep at the end of the school year. Many of our children actually chose the longest book they could find - thinking the more pages, the longer the book would last over the summer weeks ahead. Donations to Kids in Need -- Books in Deed go exactly to where they are needed most, believe me.
-- Mary Jo Peltier
Media Specialist, Hartsfield Elementary

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Partnership with Sanibel Writers' Conference

This fall, Kids in Need - Books in Deed is partnering with the Sanibel Writers Conference. Tom Demarchi, the director of the conference, has invited children's book author Laurel Snyder to be on the faculty this fall. In addition to teaching a workshop, giving panel discussions and a reading at the conference, Snyder will visit a Title I school in Fort Meyers area. Snyder will donate her time with the school children and Kids in Need - Books in Deed will be donating a copy of one of her books to every student attending Snyder's presentation.

"This is exactly the kind of programming that we first were hoping for when we started Kids in Need - Books in Deed in 2006," explains Julianna Baggott, a co-founder of the program. "We wanted kids with little access to books and living, breathing writers to have the experience of meeting an author, hearing that author talk about the imagination, and then getting free books into those kids' hands."

Kids in Need -- Books in Deed is looking for more partnership opportunities like this. If you have any ideas, don't hesitate to get in touch!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reading Dream donation

Andrea Kantor, founder of Reading Dream, a non-profit organization that sends books and other reading materials to children who need them, recently delivered a shipment of books to Kids in Need - Books in Deed. These books were given to Hartsfield Elementary School Media Specialist Mary Jo Peltier. Hartsfield distributes the books to children throughout the school via "Reading Faeries," older students who volunteer to help pass on a love of reading in their younger schoolmates.
Kantor and other volunteers at Reading Dream want to help children who do not have access to books learn to love to read. By sending children books, they hope to help them on their way to becoming life-long readers.

Nims Middle School Receives Books

Nims Middle School has just received a small shipment of books from Kids in Need - Books in Deed. Medial Specialist Jennifer Mock selected books from the Scholastic Warehouse Sale specifically for her students at Nims. As students approach summer, it's more important than ever to have a great media specialist giving them great books to boost their summer reading.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What People are Saying

The students of Florida City Elementary School have greatly benefited from the program, Kids in Need - Books in Deed. Over the last five years we've received many boxes donated books for our students. Our school is a Title I school with 95 percent of the students eligible for free lunch. Many of our students do not have books at home and to receive the donated books from Kids in Need - Books in Deed brings the importance of literacy to the families of our students.

Hanna Colombey

Media Specialist
Florida City Elementary School

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Participating Schools

With the extreme wealth of Florida, there is also extreme poverty and often extreme weather which only compounds problems. There are counties in Florida, like Putnam County, where 28.9 % of the children live in poverty--which is almost one out of every three.

Here are some of our participating schools who have given and received since we began in 2006:

Holy Comforter Episcopal School has hosted book drives over the years, donating well over 5,000 books to Title I schools in the area. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Laura Powell, a teacher who has worked tirelessly to make these donations happen.

Their donations have fueled the summer reading program at Hartsfield Elementary School where Mary Jo Peltier, media specialist, once elected a few "book fairies" to go from class to class, allowing students to choose their own free books for summer reading.

Kids in Need - Books in Deed has also helped boost Hartsfield Library with hardback books purchased through Scholastic discounts.

Cornerstone Learning Community After donating $100 from their own Visiting Author Series, Cornerstone Learning Community has inspired generosity by hosting a new student-run fundraiser that raised over $1100.00 to get more books into more hands! Their donation will go to providing books for a Title I school in Gadsden County. Thank you so very much, Cornerstone! Visit them at:

Florida City Elementary is a Title I school in the Miami-Dade Public School System. 96% of their students qualify for free/reduced lunch. There is no public library or bookstore in the town. Their media specialist, Hanna Colombey is always looking for ways to motivate the students to read and put books in their hands. She is looking forward to seeing her students benefit from the program.

Florida State University School participated in the program by hosting a Write-A-Thon, the proceeds of which first served Kids in Need within their own community. FSUS is a charter school that serves kindergarten through 12th grade and is sponsored by Florida State University. The school was founded in 1857 and provides research and development opportunities for educators as well as providing a laboratory for teacher education. With strong programs in the academics, as well as award-winning art, foreign language, and athletic programs, FSUS is a demonstration school for exploring and refining results-based innovative teaching techniques as well as being a professional teacher education center where inservice and preservice teachers may observe and participate in exemplary teacher practices; and a vehicle for the dissemination of research findings that have proven effective.

Gretna Elementary School is a Title I school in Gadsden County, serving 332 students from pre-K through 5th grade. One of their second-grade teachers, Kameelah Weeks, contacted us to sign up her young readers and writers for a free author visit and free books. Because of a fundraising effort put forward by the students at Cornerstone Learning Community, we are able to fund many more students than just the second graders in Kameelah Weeks' classroom. 89% of the students attending Gretna Elementary School qualify for the free and reduced lunch program.

Maclay School hosted a Write-A-Thon. Established in 1968, Maclay School offers a college preparatory curriculum for young people from Pre-School (ages 3 & 4) through 12th grade. Their philosophy is to support their students in fulfilling their potential academically, emotionally, physically and artistically while building a meaningful spirit among students, parents, faculty and their surrounding community.

Oak Ridge Elementary received free books and a free author visit. They are a Title I school, serving 511 students from kindergarten through 5th grade. Their administration and faculty are energetic and dedicated to their students. They actively seek opportunities like Kids in Need - Books in Deed for their students. 90% of their students qualify for free and/or reduced lunch.


Kids in Need - Books in Deed has been an invaluable resource for Hartsfield Elementary. We are a Title 1 school where 79% of our student population is eligible for free and reduced lunch. Many of these students come from households with little or no available reading material. The public library is not an option for many of them because of transportation issues. Buying books is out of the question. Many of the students also come from generations of family that have not had success at reading and certainly not found it enjoyable.

Putting books in the child’s hands can change this situation and that’s what Kids in Need - Books in Deed does. In the past three years, KIN - BID has donated over 1,000 books to Hartsfield School, books that have in turn been given away to the students to take home and keep. KIN - BID have donated books that are current, high-interest and of high quality. The assortment of books include fiction, nonfiction and every grade level. Students are always thrilled to choose their own books to take home and sometimes even choose a book that they want to give to a younger sibling.

Giving a child the right book at the right time can make a difference in whether that child becomes a lifelong reader. The KIN - BID book donations allows this to happen. We are very grateful to KIN - BID for helping us foster a love of reading by putting books in childrens' homes. We all benefit.

Mary Jo Peltier
Hartsfield Elementary Media Specialist
Tallahassee, FL

Kids in Need -- Books in Deed

KIDS IN NEED – BOOKS IN DEED is committed to:
1. Promoting reading and writing--education and the imagination. When children create a character, they are learning empathy. When they are plotting a story, they are learning strategic thought. When they are inventing what might happen next, they are developing their imaginations. When they are putting one word in front of the next, they are understanding, deeply, their language and finding their own voice. Reading and writing expand our worlds.

2. Getting free books into the homes of underprivileged kids. Having books in the home is a primary indicator of literacy. For some students, this will be the first book they’ve ever owned.

3. Bringing living and breathing authors to kids. Books are not born from bookshelves. Writers use words to invent worlds. We want to create that magical moment when the writer brings the book to life, breaking down the wall between author and reader. Having authors talk to students about their childhoods, their creative processes, their imaginations, allows students to understand that they, too, have a voice and that there is value and power in writing down their own stories.