October 30, 2020

Books Are Wings

Posted

Pawtucket, RI—Local nonprofit Books Are Wings is on a mission to ensure Rhode Island students, heading back to elementary and middle school this fall, experience the joy of reading notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic. Today the organization announced a call-to-action to Rhode Islanders who wish to support the organization by donating new and gently used books; donating funds to purchase new books; and volunteering on a number of upcoming activities.

“As a school year full of uncertainty approaches, it’s more important than ever that we continue to find ways to support parents and teachers with reading opportunities for kids,” explained executive director Jocelynn White. “We’ve worked remotely through spring and summer to safely deliver books to virtual summer camps and summer food distribution sites, and through virtual programming. Now we’re looking toward the start of the school year, and we need the community’s help to get more books into the hands of children who need them most,” White said.

The organization provided 77,000 books during the 2018-2019 school year by organizing school and early learning book parties, community distribution events and summer programs for K-8 students. When these opportunities dried up this summer, the organization was forced to pivot to new ways to safely accept and provide books to children. Some of these include accepting limited books donations by appointment only; accepting new book donations via a Books Are Wings Amazon book wish list; creating a Book Fund to accept monetary donations to purchase new books; and quarantining books before sending them out for delivery.

In addition to free books, Book Are Wings also provides free programming such as its weekly Virtual Read Aloud series on Facebook Live on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm. This week’s read aloud is Fort Building Time, an elementary level illustrated book by Megan Wagner Lloyd (2017). A video of the read aloud will remain “pinned” to the Books Are Wings Facebook page and posted to its YouTube channel for later viewing as well. Each read-aloud session is accompanied by a free online Activity worksheet on its website.

Books Are Wings works with community partners across Rhode Island with a focus on communities where children often do not have their own books at home. BAW aims to close the literacy gap by providing students free, age appropriate books that they select themselves. While the shape of the school year remains uncertain in our state, Books Are Wings seeks to provide opportunities to keep kids reading.

Please contact Kim Nelson, Director of Community Engagement at kim@booksarewings.org for more info on donating books. Visit Books Are Wings website for monetary donations and volunteer opportunities.

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