By now, everyone is familiar with the terrible flooding that destroyed many parts of Nashville, Tenn., in early May. Though the oil spill crisis in the Gulf has been garnering great amounts of media attention lately (and rightfully so), Nashville’s needs are still great.
Since we’re a group of readers with a keen interest in books — those world-opening, magical things — it makes sense that we would consider the toll the flooding has had on bookish organizations. At the Book Blogger Convention in May, fellow book blogger Rebecca spoke about Nashville’s great need for books — and followed up with an email this week. It was a siren call I couldn’t ignore. Empty shelves? Kids without reading materials? Not on our watch.
The Pencil Foundation, a Nashville-based nonprofit, is asking for book donations to help restock the shelves of their communities. In addition to its many community programs, the foundation provides books free of charge to teachers in the area — allowing them to obtain much-needed resources for the low-income students in their care. In the recent flooding, the foundation lost more than 2,000 books, as noted at Reader with a capital “R.” Rebecca has started a program called A Dry Read: New Books For Nashville, and I’m here to be a little part of it. Books I’m sending are at the bottom of this post.
According to Rebecca, the organization is in need of:
• BOOKS. Children’s books, board books, pre-school books, flap books, activity (coloring, sticker) books, picture books, young readers, beginning readers, children’s and young adult chapter books, and high school materials. Their most pressing needs are for books struggling readers at the elementary and middle school level can enjoy. High interest non-fiction books are as welcome as fiction. Many students are reading below grade level or are English Language Learners. Books in Spanish would also be greatly welcome. New or used books are great.
• PLASTIC STORAGE BINS AND SHELVING. Again, one reason they lost so much was that their books were stored in cardboard boxes on the floor. Waterproofing their storage would have helped a lot.
• VOLUNTEERS. As books come in and when the book fair itself approaches, Pencil Foundation will need man power to carry, sort, display and distribute books. Anyone in the Nashville area who could donate their time and energy should visit the Pencil website section on volunteering.
Ready to send your books? Post them here:
LP PENCIL Box at McCann ALC
1300 56th Ave North
Nashville, TN 37209
For my donation, I chose some of my all-time favorites — and it took me a while to narrow down the choices. A jaunt around my local Borders was overwhelming, but I eventually settled on Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee; North Of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley; Ramona The Brave by Beverly Cleary; Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech; and The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John Erickson.