Blog: Books for Keeps begins book distributions

It’s the end of the school year in Athens, and public schools are wrapping up with Milestones testing, cleaning out cubbies, and throwing end of the year parties. But that’s not all—it’s also time for Books for Keeps’ annual visits.

In 2008, a study suggested that increasing summer reading could prevent low-income children from losing ground during vacation, a concept called “summer slide.” The solution seems obvious: have children read more during summer vacation.

But access to books becomes a roadblock for many children who may not have books in the house or whose parents may be working and unable to take them to the library.

That’s where Books for Keeps comes in. At the end of each school year, BFK visits public schools in Athens. Volunteers set up tables full of books, provide every student with a big bag, and then each child picks 12 books to take home.

“It’s the best day of the year. I’m not kidding. [The kids] always start the school year and they’re like, ‘when’s Books for Keeps happening?’” says Deirdre Sugiuchi, the school librarian at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School.

Books for Keeps has given out more than 260,000 books since its start in 2009.

See gallery below.

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