Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

DW’s Sixth Annual Holiday Book Drive

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Update: All the books have now been purchased and the registries are 100% fulfilled! Thank you so much for your generosity, everyone!

Update #3: As of 5:30 AM, Wednesday, all by 12 books have been purchased from the teachers’ registries. Please check Alison’s and Ogo’s registries and help reach our goal of every book being purchased by the end of the day. Thanks so much for your generosity!

UPDATE #2: As of 12:30 AM (four hours after this post went up), over 160 books have been purchased from the teachers’ registries! We are over 65% to our goal of 240!

UPDATE: As of 10:30 AM (two hours after this post went up), over 70 books have been purchased from the teachers’ registries! We are about 30% to our goal of 240 (at the moment, there are only 5 registries showing because I’ve asked one teacher to update her registry with an address for the books to be sent).

Today is Giving Tuesday, which means it’s time again for one of my favorite DW traditions — our annual holiday book drive! It all started in 2012 when we had a last-minute book drive for a class in a low-income school in New Orleans. The drive was such a success that I decided to make it an annual event. Since 2012, we have gifted books to over 700 students in some of the highest poverty schools in the nation. In some cases, the books have been the only gifts these kids have received for the holidays.

This year, our most ambitious year yet, six teachers from six different schools are participating in our drive — and I hope we can continue the tradition of generosity and holiday spirit in 2017 so that 240 more kids can each get a book to take home for their very own. Learn more about this year’s participants below, and follow the links to their Amazon gift registries where you can purchase books if you’re able to. Thank you so much for your generosity — it really does make a difference!!!

Alison
“I’m an 8th grade ELA/Humanities teacher at the John J. Doran Community School in Fall River, Massachusetts. The Doran school is a family community, and often the only place where our students, many of whom are high-needs and qualify for free lunch, feel safe and loved. As we are entering the holiday season it is a time of the unknown for my students. While most children are excited about this time of year, my students often become anxious because they’re not sure what Christmas morning will bring.

Sending my students off to Christmas break with a new book to read would bring them happiness. A goal of mine is to instill a life-long love of reading in my students, and giving them books for themselves to keep forever can help achieve that goal. In an environment where they do not have much to call their own, possessing a book can make all the difference.”

Here’s Alison’s book registry.

Sheriann
“I teach third grade at a Title One school in Halifax County, NC. Much of the student population consists of high-need students, many of whom are experiencing instability in their homes and a wealth of other risk factors. My students are smart, adventurous, loving, and eager to learn; however, it has been a real task encouraging them to read. We recently started exploring some Classic Tales (The Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland), and these have piqued their interest. I can just imagine how thrilled they will be to be recipients of your books and how helpful these books will be in inspiring them to read.”

Update: Sheriann’s registry has been 100% fulfilled. Thank you!! If you’d like, you can still send her an Amazon gift card to use toward building her classroom library and buying classroom supplies.

Here’s Sheriann’s book registry.

Ogo
“I am a 7th grade ELA teacher at Monument Academy Public Charter School in Northeast D.C. Monument is a residential school for high-need students, students who are experiencing homelessness or instability in their homes. It also is home to multiple foster students and other at-risk children. My students are bright, funny, engaging, curious, super smart, and loving. They squealed last year when their books arrived. Many of them read their books before bed in the Student Life homes and brought them to PE class to read instead of playing dodge-ball. I work hard to make reading fun and relevant for my students and having a community of people gift them interesting books really supported me in that end.”

Here’s Ogo’s book registry.

Cathy
“I’m a second grade teacher at a Title 1 elementary school in rural eastern North Carolina. We are in a high-poverty area and many of my students have very little reading material at home. I have a class full of energetic, eager-to-learn, enthusiastic, and caring 7- and 8-year-old students, many of whom are still struggling with reading. My goal is not only to help them learn to read but also to help them develop a love of reading. Taking home their very own books would be very exciting for my students. Any extra books I receive I would like to use to expand my classroom lending library so they would still have other books they could borrow to take home to read.”

Update: Cathy’s registry has been 100% fulfilled. Thank you!! If you’d like, you can still send her an Amazon gift card to use toward building her classroom library and buying classroom supplies.

Here’s Cathy’s book registry.

Amy
“I’m the math teacher at Mountain Valley High School in Saguache, Colorado, where we have fewer than forty students along with four teachers who love them very much. Our district is in the poorest county in Colorado for children aged 0-17. In addition to doing our best to provide love and an education for these great kids, we also provide some of our students with access to showers, clothes washing, and even food for the weekends when they are away from school.

The books they receive from this book drive may be the only gifts some of these kids receive for the holidays. When they realize that these gifts came from people all over, they will be truly touched. Thank you for supporting my kids. They mean the world to me, and your generosity will make a difference in their lives!”

Update: Amy’s registry has been 100% fulfilled. Thank you!! If you’d like, you can still send her an Amazon gift card to use toward building her classroom library and buying classroom supplies.

Here’s Amy’s book registry.

Katie
“I’m a 6th grade math and science teacher at Davis Middle School in Hillsdale, Michigan. Davis Middle School is a low-income public school. My students are bright, funny, engaging, kind, and loving. My students were so thankful and surprised last year when their books arrived. Many of them are unable to purchase books through the book orders or book fairs at the school, so this is their chance to own any book they want. My teaching partner, Jessica, and I work hard to make reading fun and relevant for our students. Having these books for each student allows for students to fall in love with reading by reading books they are interested in.”

Update: Katie’s registry has been 100% fulfilled. Thank you!! If you’d like, you can still send her an Amazon gift card to use toward building her classroom library and buying classroom supplies.

Here’s Katie’s book registry.

22 comments… add one
  • juliecatharine

    Juliecatharine November 27, 2017, 12:18 pm

    AWESOME drive thank you for organizing Wendy!

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy November 28, 2017, 8:57 am

    Just an FYI, in case anyone is wondering why this post seems to have been published twice : I accidentally posted this yesterday (Monday) when I meant for it to be published today (Giving Tuesday). The post was up for 20 minutes before I noticed my mistake and took it down and scheduled it for today.

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  • avatar

    MissDre November 28, 2017, 9:09 am

    Just FYI – the links don’t seem to work for other country domains. These are .com links so when I click, they redirect to .ca and I get an error that the page does not exist.

    If you just change the .ca back to .com in the address bar and hit enter, it works! Just a heads up for anyone else having issues.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy November 28, 2017, 9:49 am

      Thanks for the head’s up!

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      • juliecatharine

        Juliecatharine November 28, 2017, 9:56 am

        Lol I’m so glad I thought I was losing it 😜

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      • juliecatharine

        Juliecatharine November 28, 2017, 9:57 am

        Er…I meant to post this above. Apparently I am losing it!

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    Allie November 28, 2017, 9:10 am

    Wendy, I love that you do this every year. Thanks for giving us a small way to give back and help these teachers encourage reading in their kids.

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  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki November 28, 2017, 9:12 am

    I look forward to this every year! I love buying books for other kids.

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    dmarie November 28, 2017, 9:43 am

    Thank you so much for setting this up Wendy! This is one of my favorite holiday charities and I look forward to picking books for the kids every year.

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    SpaceySteph November 28, 2017, 9:54 am

    I was just thinking on my drive in to work today that I wondered when you would post this. And here it is! Yay!

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy November 28, 2017, 9:59 am

    Thanks so much for your generosity, everyone! Full disclosure: I make a commission on these book sale because they are purchased through my Amazon affiliate link. I use the commission to purchase books from the registries. This year I am also donating to my son’s PTA as it also struggles to meet the needs of a very diverse student population, 50% of whom qualify for free or reduced lunch. Today, the Gates Foundation is matching donations to public schools, so if contributing to public education is important to you, scroll your Facebook feed for local opportunities to give (I bet someone from your friends list has set up a donation page!).

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  • avatar

    K November 28, 2017, 11:23 am

    Yay, I’ve been looking forward to this! Thanks for setting this up each year, Wendy.

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  • avatar

    MissDre November 28, 2017, 1:53 pm

    Wow! Over 160 books! Keep shopping, people! This is great!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy November 28, 2017, 2:19 pm

      We’re up to nearly 190 now! We’re almost 80% to our goal, and after only 5 1/2 hours, too!

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    Amy November 28, 2017, 3:05 pm

    Wow! Thank you so much for your generosity! I can’t describe how thrilled I am to be a recipient of so much support. I am so excited to give my students a new book before they leave for the Christmas holiday. Thank you very much for brightening my day and my students’ holiday!

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  • avatar

    kali November 28, 2017, 3:33 pm

    Thanks for letting us all be part of this amazing effort. I loved books as a kid – reading saved my sanity – so I’m happy to pay it back.

    Happy giving Tuesday!

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  • avatar

    kali November 28, 2017, 3:42 pm

    Hey Amy! I’m the author (and illustrator) of a beginning reader book called Ozzy and the Baby Birds. It’s a true story I wrote about my dog for my grandson who was two at the time. Friends who teach literacy to adults say it’s great for older readers too as the vocabulary is simple and easy to grasp.

    I’d be happy to donate five copies if you’d like to have them for your children. My email address is kalindria @ gmail.com.

    Diann

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  • freckles

    freckles November 28, 2017, 3:44 pm

    I love this so much! This is the second year in a row I’ve been able to purchase books for kids, and it feels awesome. I also loved reading as a kid, so helping instill a love of reading in kids is so worthwhile to me. Thanks for doing this Wendy!

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  • avatar

    Darcy November 28, 2017, 4:02 pm

    I am a long-time lurker. I love reading the advice (shortcuts is my drug of choice!) and the comments that often follow. It’s driven by my love of reading (OK, and a slight enjoyment of other people’s drama), and this year I saw the post and was thrilled to finally contribute. Wishing a safe and loved holiday to every single one of those kids – I hope they will have some idea how much they’ll be in my thoughts throughout the holiday season.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy November 28, 2017, 4:05 pm

    You guys are awesome – there are less than a couple dozen books left on the registries! After only 7 1/2 hours, you’ve purchased over 200 books! I think next year we need to double the number of books we send out!

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie November 28, 2017, 10:19 pm

    I’m so glad I decided to check in! Books on their way!

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph November 29, 2017, 12:11 pm

    Heh, this book drive ruined my algorithm! Now Amazon keeps trying to sell me Golden State Warriors crap.

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