UPDATE: Ben's Books Event - Version Point O'View Elementary - May 18, 2016
This year I was able to provide every student at POV with not one, but two free books! They were so excited and the day went by so fast. The students promised to pass their books along to opthers and to promote the love of reading! That's what I do this for each time.
Books Delivered at thie event: 1426+
Books Distributed this year: 1950+
Total Books Distributed to Date: 4851+
UPDATE: Ben's Books Event - Version Corporate Landing Elementary - March 8, 2016
This was a great event to celebrate what would have been my brother's 30th birthday. It's been 10 years since he passed and so I went back to my former home, CLES. It was so wonderful to reunite with so many teachers, staff, and students. I taught there for 11 years and it kind of feels like home being there again. The students from my classes have grown so much in the short time I have been gone. It was a great day.
Both of my daughters, Summer and Willow, were able to join me and experience the joy of providing children with books all day. They have really come to love participating in community service in general, and helping spread the love of reading through Ben's Books specifically. We even had shirts made for this event! It was a major undertaking this year and we had lots of help from Sharon Wheeler and Girl Scout Troops 648, 806, and 4168. They say "it takes a village" and these ladies sure do count as part of my village! Thank you all so much for all your help!
Troop 648 helped set up!
Books Delivered at this event = 524
Total Books Distributed this year = 524
Total Books Distributed to Date = 3425+
Happy Birthday, Ben! Welcome to the party!
Our new t-shirt! Thanks, Southern Screen! Willow setting up the picture books! Summer and I get a quick pic!
UPDATE: Ben's Books Event - Version Arrowhead Elementary - May 26, 2015
This event was hosted by Summer Tatum, Ben's first niece. She did a spectacular job with Arrowhead's librarian, Kellee Kraft! The students and teachers were very grateful for our donation to their community. We distributed almost 500 books to the students there.
One teacher emailed me and said, "I had the pleasure of taking my class to the presentation yesterday at Arrowhead. What a wonderful program and a great way to honor your brother. Your daughter is an amazing young lady. Her confidence and maturity are outstanding and she is the perfect ambassador for your family. Good luck with your project and thank you for sharing with us."
I am so proud of Summer and her willingness to help her community. Thanks to Mrs. Kraft for all the help she gave us!
Our next event will hopefully be held at Corporate Landing Elementary in March 2016!
Books Delivered at this event = 500
Total Books Distributed this year = 1700+
Total Books Distributed to Date = 2900+
UPDATE: Ben's Books Event - Version Point O'View Elementary - April 17, 2015 -
Our 2nd event at Point O'View Elementary was another big hit for over 700 students! Many students remembered it (and me) from last year. They were so excited and happy to recieve a book. Some students were able to find a book immediately, while others spent time looking for the book that was just right for them. Many just couldn't decide which book to pick since there were so many wonderful books to choose from!
This year, with Earth Day just a week away, I was tying in to sustainability by making sure that we all recycle. We need to recycle damamged books (not throw them in the trash). And we need to recycle them by passing them along for someone else to enjoy.
Many thanks to Girl Scout Troop 648 for sponsoring the book drive with Service Unit 703 this winter. Also, thank you to GS Troops 806 & 4163 and Mrs. Wheeler for helping me set up for the event. It usually takes me 4-6 hours to set up by myself. We were able to do it in record time, 1 hour 15 minutes from start to finish! I was even able to make it to my own Girl Scout meeting that night. Thank you all for being a part of my journey!
Books Delivered at this event = 700+ Total Books Distributed this year = 1200+ Total Books Distributed to Date = 2400+
GS Troops 806 and 4168 My daughters, Willow and Summer, also GS Troops 152 & 648.
GO GIRL SCOUTS!
UPDATE: Ben's Books Event - Version Cooke Elementary - March 18, 2015 -
Another great event held to deliver books to over 500 students at Cooke Elementary! The students were so excited to be given a book for their very own. One child told me that I don't have to worry because Ben is always in my heart. So true! I felt it all day while I helped these students choose books that fit their reading levels and interests. I was impressed by the number of students who had a passion for literacy and had already read some of the classics.
I received a book from a child during the event and immediately added it to the table! Several students and teachers have already inquired about how to dontate more books to help the cause. It is in those moments that I know the impact I am having to pass it forward. Whether it is the idea of recycling or the promotion of reading for enjoyment, I know that these children are going to think more about reading and books because I tried.
Many thanks to Mrs. Lantz for helping to make this event happen and to the library staff for letting me take over your beautiful space. I look forward to working with you all in the future. I must thank all of the students, parents, teachers, and individuals from the community who have graciously donated books throughout the past year. Finally, I thank Girl Scout Troop 648 for sponsoring a book drive this January-February. I received over 200 books from local Girl Scout Troops!
Again, please feel free to contact me if you are interested in donating books and/or time. I will be hosting another event next month at my home school, Point O'View Elementary, where we have around 700 students! I am also talking with the librarian at a third school and I may be able to conduct another event in May as well!
THANK YOU ALL for all your help in making this happen for so many children in our schools!
Total Books Delivered at this event: 500+
Total Books Delivered this Year: 500+
Total Books Distributed to Date: 1700+
UPDATE: Ben's Books Event - Version Point O'View Elementary - May 7, 2014 -
This Ben's Books Event was a great success! I distributed books to over 675 students at POV! Even though it was only the second event, it was just as wonderful and amazing as the first! I loved hearing the students exclaim that there were "just so many to choose from!" At the end of the day, I saw safety patrols reading at their posts. The next day, teachers relayed stories of how their students would "not stop reading for the rest of the day." One class had to be told to put down their books, stop reading and pay attention to walking down the hallway. This is what it is all about!
I am so proud of the impact I have made on each of these children. Now I head back to the book collecting. Some students have been gracious enough to donate books the very next day, so I am back at it again. :) Please contact me if you have any books to donate. Most of my collection has been distributed. I will need at least another 500 books before I can begin to organize my next event.
THANK YOU ALL!
Total Books Delivered at this event: 675+
Total Books Delivered this Year: 1150+
Total Books Distributed to Date: 1200+
The First Event
On March 14, 2014, I held the first ever Ben's Books event at Kempsville Meadows Elementary School. That day I gave out over 474 gently-loved books to the students. Each child went home with their own book for free that night because of me and my little brother.
The ache in my heart lessened with each book that was taken and with each bright-eyed child clarifying that it was theirs to keep. The "oohs" and "aahs" from the students made me smile from within. The joy each one showed as they chose a book made all the hard work and late nights worth it.
Throughout the day, I had several students bring in books to donate as well. This brought my total somewhere around 1200 books in my collection. As they came in, we labeled them as Ben's Books and put them out for the taking.
My only request was that they pass the book along to someone else when they were done with it. I made the children promise to never throw away a book, but to always give it to another.
At the end of the day, I packed up all the books I had left. I realized that I had enough left over to do it all over again. So now, I am collecting books from anyone and at anytime.
My next Ben's Books event is scheduled for May 7th. Let's just hope that it doesn't snow again! :)
Total Books Delivered at this event: 474
Total Books Delivered this Year: 474
Total Books Distributed to Date: 532
*Total Books Delivered in 2013 to KMES: 58
That was the first time I gave any books in Ben's memory.