Baltimore Rock 'n Read was a massive success. We brought 15,000 books and gave out 10,000! We had fantastic weather and had no challenges there. The plaza of The World Trade Center was a great venue. It was a popular event, and exceedingly so at the end of the day. We had six volunteers, opposed to the sixty-four volunteers we had at the Rockville event. This forced everyone to work harder. The set up and breakdown took much longer with few volunteers.
There were additional challenges. JK Moving was unable to donate bookshelves for the event so it was necessary for us to buy our own shelves. Thankfully, Discover Books was able to pick up the shelves, tables and canopies from our office prior to the event. They delivered the materials to Baltimore with the books they donated. After the event, they loaded our materials in the truck and will deliver them back to our office. This was a tremendous help, and helped us avoid having to rent a truck, as we have in the past.
Although most of the materials were purchased for the prior event, we still had to purchase some material and do some preparation. We bought purple spray paint for our corn hole boards; helium and ribbon was needed to inflate and tie the balloons; cones to manage foot traffic, and portable speakers were need, as there wasn't electricity at the venue.
We made many connections at the event, such as teachers, principals and community leaders. One of the teachers was from Henderson Hopkins, a public school for underprivileged children. The following day, the teacher said that she'd talked to administrators from her school, and they were agreeable to accepting two pallets of books, or approximately 3,600 books.
Although the cost of the events have been great, they have made a fantastic difference in the community.
Yesterday we met with Troy Smith, a new fifth grade teacher at Cresthaven Elementary School (Title I School) in Silver Spring, Maryland. He found us from a note he posted on a neighborhood list serve requesting books for his classroom library. A Facebook friend shared his note and asked if we could help.
We asked the Principal for Glenallen, Mr. Moran if we could use his school as a hub for teachers and organizations to pick up books from, after we drop the books off in quantities of 1,500+ at a time. Mr. Moran was enthusiastic about being a community partner in the promotion of literacy, as was Ms. Hirst, Mr. Moran's Administrative Assistant.
On July 16, 2016 we held an event called Rockville Rock 'n read in which we gave out about 7,500 books. The books were given to the public free of charge. We advertised on many sites. One of which was called https://www.volunteersignup.org/. It helped us get 65 volunteers in less than five weeks. We had a fantastic kids zone with bowling and corn hole. Face painting and tattoos were very popular.
Books came from individual donations, remainders from a book sale, and discover books. We had A local author named Gareth Hinds at the event. He demonstrated his great talent of drawing. We had the band Crimestoppers with guest star Daryl Davis. The temperature was in the 90s and at the end of the day everyone was rewarded with splash fountains coming up in the middle of the town square where the event was held. Both Montgomery County Public Libraries and TD Bank promoted their summer reading Initiative program.
Literacy programs vary considerably from one town to the next, and certainly between different countries.
From my perspective the Niagara Falls library system is much better than the Montgomery County, Maryland library system. In Niagara Falls they have an amazing summer reading program sponsored by TD bank and the Canadian government. They have incentives and greatly encourage reading. they have visually appealing summer reading packet, which entice the students to actually read. The packets are given to them at the end of the school year showing that intuitive is taken to help the students.Read more
With the help of volunteers, we established a book bank at Glenallen Elementary School then we shipped them 5,000 books, and now it is open for all kids Monday through Thursday from June 28th to August 11th. The volunteers that want Student Service Learning hours can get some from Glenallen Elementary School by organizing the book bank and showing people around. At least 200 kids have used the book bank.
Our primary motivation is helping the kids get books because the library is being rebuilt for the next two years. The kids have easy access to the book bank because they live nearby. The book bank promotes summer reading. Kids can travel the short distance and are permitted six books per visit.