I am so sorry for the delay in posting this message. I wrote it last week and then for some reason never hit the button to publish it. I blame it on the holidays sapping my brain. 🙂
Recently, Tina and I were able to participate in our most amazing event yet! It started at the beginning of December when we were given the opportunity to present our organization and services to the reading coordinators for district 186 schools. They were wonderfully receptive and we were hopeful that it lead to good things. Less than 24 hours later we began to receive emails. Three teachers from Butler Elementary reached out to us looking for books for their students. They had class holiday parties coming up and wanted the students to each take home a book. We had hoped that doors would open, but we weren’t prepared for them to open so quickly.
Admittedly, Tina and I went through several moments of pure panic. We moved from small giveaways to a request for close to 200 books to be delivered in less than 2 weeks!!! The panic was real. How were we going to fill the order? We didn’t want to fail on our first request from the school district. We didn’t want to let the teachers and kids down. Once the meltdown had passed, we sat down to figure out how to make things work. Luckily, we are both blessed with family members who understand how important Bookshare is to us and with their help we were able to put together everything we needed.
That brings us to the good stuff. On the 19th we arrived at Butler Elementary with our suitcases* full of books. We spread out on the tables provided and crossed our fingers. In less that two hours we handed out books to the 1st, 4th & 5th grade classes. From the first child who came to the table all the stress and work were totally worth it. They were so appreciative and excited. It was amazing to watch them look through the options and choose so carefully. Many of them immediately sat down and started reading. Some chose books for their younger brother or sister instead of for themselves. As we watched the kids go by Tina and I turned to one another and said this is it, this is what we hoped for. When we were loading the suitcases back into the car a couple of students called out to us. They thanked us and asked when we were coming back. It was easily the most rewarding thing I have ever done. To be honest, there were only two low points in the day.
- We didn’t have enough books to let the children have as many books as they wanted. We would have given anything to be able to back a truck up to the school and let the kids go wild.
- One of the 4th graders was taller than me. Obviously Tina had no problems with this, but I was deeply saddened. When I was joking with the boy about how unfair the situation was another little boy turned to me and said “It’s okay. You are still taller than I am”. I almost gave him all the books left on the table.
*The suitcases were Tina’s genius idea. We purchased some good condition rolling suitcases to move books. So much easier than carrying boxes!