New Books Help Build Students’ Home Libraries

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By: Cindy Miller—

Muncie, IN— Students attending elementary schools in the Muncie Community Schools and Inspire Academy recently received 4,000 new high quality books to read and keep for their own, thanks to a $57,000 donation from the Back to School Teachers Store.

This initiative, called Books Kids Keep, was designed to give every child in local schools a new, free book to help build a child’s home library. Many books included Disney, super hero and Star Wars titles that appeal to today’s young readers. The books were age appropriate from kindergarten to fifth grade reading levels.

“This is an exciting program to bring to our Muncie schools,” said Stacy Wheeler, executive director of the Back to School Teachers Store. “Children’s book distributions and ownership of books are some of the most important, successful ways to get children to read at grade level. Books in the home profoundly impact children, especially when books are theirs to keep.”

Recent studies find that each additional book owned at home helps children get a little further along in school and advances their skills in both literacy and numeracy that often leads to lifelong academic and career advances.

Community and civic leaders representing the Altrusa Club of Muncie, the Kiwanis’ Circle K International, and Muncie Public Library staff were on hand to help distribute books this past spring to students in partnership with the Back To School Teachers Store.

In 2016, the Back to School Teachers Store first launched the Books Kids Keep program to promote reading at grade-level and distributed over 1,200 books to local elementary schools that were working on advancing students’ attitudes toward reading.  This coming year the Back to School Teachers Store is excited at the prospect of being able to leverage its national network to expand its book donations by a factor of ten – an anticipated donation of over 30,000 books this year to Delaware County schools and children.

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About BTSTS Teachers Store:

Celebrating its 15 anniversary, the Back To School Teachers Store (BTSTS) is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving Pre-K – 12thgrade teachers who work in Delaware County, Indiana. BTSTS Teachers Store operates one of 40 free teachers’ stores in the United States and since 2017, became a junior affiliate of the national Kids In Need Foundation.