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.