This is what 40,000 books for kids looks like!

Partners come together for kids

2016-09-30-15-49-54Last week we joined with other organizations to give away 40,000 FREE books to kids in the greater Tampa Bay area! Thanks to a sponsorship by Wipro and the American Federation of Teachers- area non-profits received a semi-tractor trailer full of children’s books from First Book- a nonprofit dedicated to giving new books to kids in need. The Alliance for Public Schools, Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, Hillsborough County Public Schools, the Florida Education Association and others worked together and distributed all of the books to children and teachers on Saturday.

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The task was enormous. It took an army of teachers and other community volunteers who descended on Hillsborough High School last Friday to unload, sort and stack the books. With the help of over 200 volunteers, the truck was emptied quickly. 23 pallets of books magically turned into piles and piles of sorted books ready for their new owners to come pick them out.

Kids love books!

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Books were available for every reading level from emerging readers to young adult, hardcover fiction. There were huge piles of board books and beginning readers at one end of the room. Mountains of boxed sets of young adult novels lined another wall. Popular titles by Rick Riordan sat next to stacks of Sofia the First books.  There was something for every reading level and every interest.

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Many volunteers brought their children to help sort books. The kids couldn’t resist the pull of the books, stopping their work to sit on the floor or behind piles of novels engrossed in the stories.

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Teachers registered with First Book were able to select 50 books to build classroom libraries. Many brought wagons and dollies in order to carry their treasures home. Their lucky students across the Bay area will be enjoying the books for years to come! Children who shopped on Saturday were able to pick out five books each to take home and relish. Thanks, First Book and all the sponsors, for giving so many children their own books!