By: Emily Ball Cicchini, Executive Director, and Mariela Rodriguez, Communication Director, BookSpring
About BookSpring: BookSpring builds early literacy in children and families through healthcare, education and the community. We envision a world of families reading and succeeding together.
How did your organization pivot/adapt during the pandemic? Did the change impact the people you serve, if at all?
Books and reading continued to be essential resources for families as the uncertainty and restlessness of the pandemic persisted throughout our community. BookSpring focused on exploring creative ways to continue to engage authentically with families while sharing comfort in the form of books and storytelling. Our staff worked with each of our partners to customize our programs and promote the importance of book ownership and shared reading experiences.
How many people does your organization help every month/year? Any volunteers?
We give out more and more books each year, and our partnerships are increasingly diverse and far-reaching. Our 2022 mid-year goal was to give 211,000 books to 60,000 children.
Volunteers are essential to BookSpring’s operations! We are eager to engage more individuals, corporate groups and civic organizations in the critical work of shaping a child’s life, one book at a time.
There are plenty of ongoing opportunities to support our work behind the scenes, from organizing book drives, sorting donated books, delivering books and materials, assisting during book giveaways, and reading to children and families.
Can you tell us more about your home library program and how the funds from the Moody Foundation grant were used for this initiative?
Thanks to the Moody Foundation grant, BookSpring deepened its commitment to supporting families in building their home libraries with print and digital books. We created the BookSpring Direct initiative to reach families directly.
Abeer is a father who applied to get books in the mail from BookSpring. He shared his gratitude with us:
“I really appreciate you! You made my kids so happy! We have not been in any library since Covid started. Today we received the books, and they were so happy when they saw the package and opened it. Special thanks for the Arabic books! My middle son is reading the book now! And a very big thank you for the Diary of Wimpy Kid book. My son loves this series. His grandma brought him three books of this series on his birthday, and today he got his fourth one! I can tell how he is happy from his eyes. Thank you! You made our day!”
BookSpring also created Weekly Themes for families with children ages 3-8 years old. The series includes a welcome video with Bibi, the BookSpring Butterfly, discussion questions and free online and downloadable digital books. Crystal, a mom of a 2-year-old, shared this with us: “My daughter calls the themes “blue butterfly books.” When she asks for the blue butterfly, I know she wants to read a book.”
Where can the community go to find more information on how to volunteer, donate to your organization and/or a schedule of upcoming events?
To all the families, doctors and educators, we’re here and ready to help with the gift of beautiful, fun, engaging books. If you can spare some time or donations, read about our Volunteer opportunities and consider a Monthly Donation to help us continue this work. Every $10 you give will send three books to kids at home directly through the mail.