In 2019, Henrico County Public Schools collected 81,559 free books from Goodwill, helping to stock libraries, classrooms and free book fairs for children. Last year’s haul brings the total books donated to Henrico schools to 168,321 books since the partnership started in early 2017.
“Our partnership with Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia has had a positive impact on our Henrico County Public Schools community,” said Amanda Allgood, information specialist for Henrico County Public Schools library services. “Through this partnership with Goodwill, we can support Book Nooks at every school in our system, and we are developing community supported, authentic, and connected literacy events that make books accessible and promote discovery. Collected books are also used to supplement our classroom libraries, support school-wide and community reading programs, and infuse our community with quality, high-interest reading materials all year long. The 81,559 books we collected in 2019 support our mission to grow lifelong readers and develop a culture of literacy in Henrico County, and we are excited to continue this partnership in the new year.”
Henrico County and Goodwill established a weekly opportunity for school personnel to visit Goodwill’s Richmond distribution center and “dive for books” in 2017. School staff sort through thousands of books, selecting those that will be utilized and loved at their schools, often collecting hundreds of books per visit.
Free books from Goodwill can be found by local students in schools and free libraries around the county, including the Department of Family Engagement bus which provides giveaways to community, civic and school events. Before this partnership, funding was not available in the Henrico school system to expand school libraries or provide classroom libraries at all 68 school locations. Research shows a strong correlation between access to books and academic success. This free program supplies a reliable source of books to families in need and to teachers who have limited budgets for extra books.
The Goodwill ‘Books for Kids’ program has also been introduced into Chesterfield County Public Schools and some Richmond City schools through Richmond ‘Communities In Schools’. The results have been overwhelmingly positive. In 2019, Chesterfield has received 17,500 books and the City of Richmond 13,071 books.
In 2018, The Goodwill Books for Kids program and Henrico County won the award for “best partnership” from the National Association of Counties. Goodwill is proud to be a community partner redirecting books into the community to increase literacy and enrichment in public schools.
To learn more about the program or sign-up to collect books for public schools contact Russ Rainer.