Do you ever have so much to tell someone that you can't figure out where to start, so you just decide not to? That's how I feel right now. But I'll try.
The book drive is definitely happening. I met with the folks from Whatever It Takes yesterday and left with my head spinning. They think BIG. As in... publicity. Which terrifies me. It's so, ummm, public.
4 media specialists have volunteered to review the book donations for appropriateness. I can handle elementary school, but middle school and high school? No way. There's some pretty iffy stuff out there, so I'm relieved to have experts to handle this part.
My favorite news? The graphic artist for Whatever It Takes is designing a Books for Keeps bookmark. Bookmarks!
Oh, and the wife of one of the Whatever It Takes volunteers provided my first middle/high school wish list. Thank you, Ryan and Priscilla! I'm having it reviewed by a few other media specialists so they can add their suggestions to the list, then I'll get it posted.
Hmmm, what else? I met with the principal and media specialist from Clarke Middle School. Tad and Shawn both expressed a sincere eagerness to help and I'm so relieved. Anisa from the Clarke County School District is writing an article about the book drive to include in their monthly publication.
Oh! I received some advice from Dr. Allington, who conducted the study measuring the impact of book ownership on learning. His study gave 12 books per child; we've only been giving 3 and it really bothers me. He said based on what he's learned, if he were designing the study today he'd give 20 books per child to 1st graders, 15 to 2nd graders, 10 to 3rd graders, and 6 to all other grades. I'm thinking hard about how we could pull this off. One thing I know: I can't do it by myself.
And speaking of doing things by myself: there's an aspect of the Books for Keeps story that's very compelling, but makes me really uncomfortable. It's the tale of one woman seeing a problem and doing something to fix it, all on her own. I've said it many times, even as recently as last week: if you read through this blog, it's very clear that Books for Keeps has been carried on the shoulders of some of the most generous people in the world... FROM DAY 1.
That's the story I want to read. If it's not the story people choose to tell, at least you're hearing it straight from me: Books for Keeps would be nothing without you.