Alex about 2 years old with his books - 1980

Alex about 2 years old with his books – 1980

We spent a lot of money on our boys over the years and many, many times we realized later on the expenditure was foolish. Every video game console and game ever yearned for over the years quickly fell out of favor or became obsolete after a short time.  Not long after, it became trash and let me tell you it hurt to see hundreds of dollars ignored and set aside. Toys were broken, clothing strewn on the floor…..everything they “had” to have ended up in the donate bag in no time. But the one purchase we never, ever regretted was buying them books.

Me and my boys - we read every night with few exceptions well into elementary school (1990 or 1991)

Me and my boys – we read every night with few exceptions well into elementary school (1990 or 1991)

We used books as rewards, gifts, surprises, and more. They potty trained while we read them books about potty training and they earned books as a reward by being successful at school, sports, and life.

We gave them books on long drives about taking a trip to an exotic location to keep them entertained and to expand their learning and imagination. I know it’s popular now to plug in a DVD and tune out the kids in the backseat, but we didn’t do that. We let them read to us, ask us questions, and play games.

In their tweens and teens we listened to audiobooks on road trips and the trip became as much of a memory as the destination itself. Just ask when we heard, “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe,” and every one of us will shout out WDW! We listened to it on the drive to Cape Canaveral and back. Even at their high school graduation, each was given a book to commemorate the day; Dr Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.”

My seed donation – grades 1-3 to be donated to a new teacher at school

Nickelodeon Big Help Book Drive – Simple Service Project

When the boys became adults we faced the dilemma of what to do with their childhood books – in the end we donated and sold them rather than save them because books belong in the hands of readers. I tell you all so you’ll understand why I’m so passionate in participating in an event that will result in spanking new books getting in the hands of eager readers. To accomplish this, I took a trip to our local Walmart to pick up some new books for niece’s classroom (see my shop pictures here). Katie is in her 3rd year of teaching and I have supplied her with books over the years, but there are always new books published, so her library will never be complete. Plus she’s teaching a 4/5 grade split with another teacher this year – that means 50 kids are pulling from her in-class library, and her small existing library is but a drop in the bucket for all those hungry minds.

In every community there new teachers like Katie so next time you’re shopping, consider picking up a few extra books (these were about $3.50 each) and dropping them off at your local elementary school or other charitable organization. It’ll be very much appreciated and your donation will put a book in the hands of enthusiastic readers.

I'm donating some old favorites and new stories too!

I’m donating some old favorites and new stories too!

Help me grow my donation in this virtual book drive – comment and I’ll donate another book!

VIRTUAL BOOK DRIVE

I’m working with Champions for Kids (CFK) and the Nickelodeon Big Help Book Drive through their HELP THEM READ SIMPLE SERVICE PROJECT and you can help me! I’ve already purchased $40 worth of books but I’d like to do more. For every comment below, I’ll add another $1 to my donation – up to an $200 in value! What can I buy with the additional money? 13 hardback books and 1 paperback for the 4/5th grade level!

Just leave a comment with your favorite childhood book or the book you love to read most to your own children. Only unique comments will count (sorry, if someone has already posted your favorite you’ll have to come up with another). Only one comment per person; per household.

Commenting has to end on 9/10/12 so I have time to purchase and deliver the books.

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I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  The first $125 of the donation was provided as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Champions for Kids. The additional funds and all opinions are my own.