These Kids Need Books ASAP

I was just on Facebook and saw the saddest thing, but it’s something we can make better today.

Empty school library

That’s a photo of the empty library at a K-8 school here in Pittsburgh.

My kids are lucky; they have access to tons of books in their school’s library and in many individual classrooms. They also have Nooks at home and the resources to download as many books as they want.

The above photo, however, was taken at a library at a school just seven miles from my home. The librarian says there are 40 semi-usable books in their school.

I’ve always taken for granted the fact that my kids had access to reading materials. Their rooms have been overflowing with books since before they were born, and yet they were both ecstatic to find even more books available to them at their school library. Devin brings home an average of five new books every single week. I cannot even fathom walking into a school library and seeing empty shelves.

Everything about this is wrong and unfair.

Fortunately, we can help.

If you have fiction books you and your kids would be willing to donate to this school, you can box them up and mail them to:

Manchester Elementary
1612 Manhattan Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Include a note that says these books are for the library.

You can also go to Amazon right now and select a few items from the librarian’s wishlist.

I know this isn’t a local blog and so chances are this isn’t your city. This isn’t your local school. These aren’t your kids.

But these kids are going to grow up to be your fellow citizens.

They can grow up to be the kind of people who know there is good in the world and who give back.

Maybe it will help them to know some people who didn’t have to gave to them first.

Update: So the Internet is a pretty amazing place. The teacher’s Wish list got completely filled, and now it looks like she is adding new titles. If you go there and it is empty, feel free to order any FICTION for kids aged 7-14, and just have them shipped to the school. We were able to do this via Amazon with no problems.

A Pittsburgh education blog that originally shared this story says books started showing up yesterday. Sheila, the librarian said:

“When I told the Principal she just about cried. Wait ‘til the kids see! Wait ‘til the loving, overworked teachers see! Wait ‘til the overworked, exhausted, dedicated parents see these books coming home in their children’s hands! You are showing Manchester’s children that THEY MATTER.”

Let’s keep going and make sure these kids never forget that THEY MATTER!

(Also, there are schools around the country talking about doing book drives for these kids, but it occurs to me that books are HEAVY and getting them to Pittsburgh might be a challenge. If anyone knows how these schools/organizations could get discounted shipping for this effort, please let me know!)

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  1. Kim says:

    I believe I have a few in the pile in my garage that were going to be in a garage sale. I will look tonight and box these up and get them mailed! That is SAD! It shouldn ‘t matter if it is “our” state, city, or children. Th children in that area are the FUTURE of this country! Every child deserves to have unlimited reading materials at the disposal.

  2. claire says:

    I want to help – have emailed you…
    claire’s most recent post: No Waste Tastes Great – 14th Sept 2012

  3. Darla says:

    What in the WORLD! Can we make a cash donation? Can they get books cheaper than they would if we order them off Amazon?

  4. S says:

    I agree, this is incredibly sad and should not happen in this country, ever! Our sons are 8 months old and have almost this many books already.

    I’ve just ordered three of the books on her wish list and had them shipped direct.

  5. This breaks my heart. Everyone should be surrounded by books!!!
    Carrie Monroe O’Keefe’s most recent post: I’m. Never. Never. Giving. You. Up.

  6. Jim W says:

    I think tonight I’ll be clearing out some of my daughter’s bookshelf clutter. . . “for the children” (the one time I’ve ever used that phrase where I actually meant it literally).
    Jim W’s most recent post: Still Working Out the Kinks

  7. Cindy says:

    Great idea!

    I will go through my daughter’s library & see what we can donate!

  8. Mimi says:

    I’ll have some stuff off in the mail tomorrow.

  9. Rob says:

    Looks like there are currently 3 items on the wishlist?

  10. Kari says:

    This is so sad! How did it ever get so bad?
    My kids have outgrown a lot of their picture books. I’ll have to send them out east.
    Kari’s most recent post: I’m sure all the terrorists hide their explosives behind their elbows.

  11. Cheryl Pangolin says:

    Happy to help; Kids need books!

    The librarian needs to add to her amazon wishlist. There were five unpurchased items on it when I looked–four left now.
    The link to this article was just retweeted by The Bloggess, which is going to send lots more people on their way to help, and I’m sure many would find it easier to buy off the wishlist.

  12. Tracey says:

    Sending two boxes of books Saturday morning.
    Tracey’s most recent post: All but the willow

  13. Naomi says:

    Awesome Britt. I think that MORE of this kind of thing needs to be shared on a regular basis. Americans (yes, I’m generalizing) tend to only want to help when it has the allure of overseas or a third world country. HOW exciting to see the rapid response and those shelves full!!

    (I’m a HUGE fan of libraries and books and this warmed my heart!)

    ((How did it get that bad? Just wear and tear and lack of replacement budget money?))
    Naomi’s most recent post: Box 53b

  14. Jen says:

    Thank you for posting about this. I made a donation tonight from the amazon wish list. I am turning 40 in a couple of months and my goal is to do 40 random acts of kindness. I have been making a list of 40 things that I am grateful for and then trying to do something in honor of that. For example, one of the things is my children’s education. When I saw your post I decided to make it my first random act by donating to those who may not be as fortunate in their education. So thank you! :))

  15. bec says:

    I’m so glad you posted this. I’m a high school English teacher without a job and I had a gift card from a friend (sent back in December.) At the time, I couldn’t think of anything that I needed and so I kept the card, waiting for that spark of “ooh I want this!” to hit. Within seconds of reading your post, I located the card code and went book order happy. I know it will make the librarian and her students happy, but being able to do that brought me a whole lot of joy. Thanks for giving me that opportunity.

  16. Kevin says:

    I hope they get several copies of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. My first introduction to what a world without books could be like.

  17. Corinne says:

    The US post office offers book rate when shipping books and it is MUCH cheaper than other ways of shipping. Just ask for book rate or media mail rate.

  18. Sheila May-Stein says:

    Thank you so much!

  19. Vicki says:

    So happy to hear about this – I sent 2 boxes today :-)
    Vicki’s most recent post: Simple Window Treatment for the Fall Season

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