WE BELIEVE –
- Access to high quality pleasure reading materials should not be limited to children of affluent families.
- Reading for pleasure regularly is the single most important predictor of future academic success.
- An improved school library collection, with new and interesting books, can make the difference for a child who had no other access to books at home or otherwise.
- School libraries that are welcoming, colorful, comfortable spaces can not only encourage reading, but can become hubs of learning and culture at their schools.
Collection maintenance, coaching in parent volunteer recruitment and training, & new books for the library
Mural painting & new comfortable reading furniture to encourage library use
Partnering with local service organizations for book drives and volunteers to work alongside members of the school community
New, high interest books in the library encourages greater use of the library by both classes and individuals, and increases access to pleasure reading materials for all students
The support of our credentialed librarian allows understaffed school libraries to better manage their collection through weeding of old, out of date titles before the project, and helps to organize the collection for maximum impact after the project.
Volunteers from local service organizations work alongside volunteers from the school communities we serve, creating new connections in the interest of literacy. Many school community volunteers become ongoing library helpers, and many service organization volunteers go on to volunteer on future projects once they see the impact they can make for communities in need.
Number of Schools Served Each Year
Number of Books Donated Each Year
A school library in need
Dorsa Elementary, located in East San Jose, serves 100% students who qualify for Title I funds, meaning that their families live at or below the poverty line. Their library had not received funding in decades, and the average age of their books was 25 years! To make matters worse, the library was only open every other week for four hours a day due to staffing shortage.
We were able to help Dorsa to recruit parent volunteers to get the library open more often, cleaned out old out-of-date books, and our project not only added over 500 beautiful new books to the library, but also made the library brighter and more inviting.
Meet: Viviana Garcia
Principal of Dorsa Elementary School
“I appreciate Access Books staffs’ intentionality in selecting current books, as well as books that are culturally relevant to Dorsa students.”
Meet: Ravenswood MS
A new school library for a new middle school
Prior to 2018, Ravenswood school district had no middle school, and no school library for the middle school level. When the new middle school opened, they would have hand-me-down books from a few other sites where the libraries had closed. And while they had a fairly recent selection of popular fiction books, their nonfiction section was old and unattractive, their fiction section remained understocked, and they had only a handful of graphic novels. Additionally, the facility they were moving into had only basic shelving and a couple of tables.
Access Books Bay Area was able to completely repaint the space, adding colorful new murals throughout, provided them with comfortable reading furniture appropriate for middle school students, helped weed their collection of old out-of-date books, restocked their nonfiction with attractive new titles, added to their fiction collection, and completely created a new graphic novels section.
Meet: Marsha Abbott
Volunteer at Ravenswood Middle School and partner organization All Schools Matter
“Access Books Bay Area’s Ravenswood Middle School Library renovation provided much needed, relevant reading material suitable to the abilities and interests of the RMS students. Volunteers, like myself, for All Students Matter work developing reading skills with students through 5th grade. Access to quality and current literature in their middle school library and classroom allows the students to continue practicing and developing their literacy skills. Working and partnering towards a common goal really multiplies the impact we can make in this district.”
V I S I O N F O R
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In 2020 Access Books Bay Area would like to continue expanding our work, reaching the following goals:
- Complete one school project every two months during the school year, for a total of 4 projects
- Increase our visibility in the Bay Area community through outreach and media coverage
- Increase our donor pool and overall number of sustaining donors by 200%