MARCH-ing Books to Kids

I believe books are one of the most special gifts we can give children. According to Reading is Fundamental (RIF), nearly two-thirds of low-income families in the U.S. DO NOT own books. The literacy initiative Picture Book Pass it On is working hard to get books into the hands of less fortunate children.

I was super excited when I discovered Picture Book Pass it On. I singed five copies of my picture book, Mama’s Purse, and headed down to the Women’s and Children’s Alliance to donate them. Then I wrote a blog post and completed the three PBPiO calls to action. What an incredible feeling to help children in my community!

I love reading. I love picture books. I love helping kids. When I learned about MARCH-ing Books to Kids, I said, “Count me in!”

Picture Book Pass it On is encouraging folks to participate in MARCH-ing Books to Kids during the month of March. The founder of PBPiO, Michelle Eastman, has given kid lit lovers and authors another wonderful opportunity to help children in need through the  Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.

Michelle discusses the details of MARCH-ing Books to Kids and the VNS Storybook Project in her post:

MARCH-ing Books to Kids…Calling all Book Lovers and Authors to Make a Difference to a Child in Need…

According to Reading is Fundamental (RIF), Nearly two-thirds of low-income families in the U.S. DO NOT own books.  That is just plain wrong.  But, we can help fix it.

girl wagon

I believe that every child’s Bill of Rights should be indelibly inked with the right to have picture books read to him/her and to own their very own books.  Many of us take for granted the sacred ritual of cracking open a picture book, and cuddling together while the words and pictures collectively take us away.  You can probably recall having been read to by your parents or caregivers.  You likely hold a special picture book, from your childhood, close to your heart.  And, until now, you’ve probably not given much thought to how profound that experience can be.

Imagine, never having that.

I CAN imagine a child, growing up, never knowing the power of a picture book.  I WAS that child.  I DO want to lead the charge to ink “Picture Book” on every child’s Bill of Rights.  I’m a mom, teacher, and children’s author who believes, passionately, that we should never, ever, underestimate the power of a picture book.

I celebrate the power of the picture book through my Picture Book Pass it On (#PBPiO) project, encouraging people to donate books to kids in need.

Throughout the month of March we are launching a special initiative called “MARCHing Books to Kids”.  PBPiO encourages book lovers to donate a favorite children’s book, and we invite children’s authors to donate signed copies of their books to the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.  The Storybook Project recruits, screens and trains volunteers to work with incarcerated parents and/or grandparents at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women (ICIW) in Mitchellville, Iowa and the Newton Correctional Release Center (CNRC) in Newton, Iowa. Once per month, volunteers work with the mother, grandmother or father. The parent/grandparent and volunteer choose a book from the Storybook library that is appropriate for the child. The parent or grandparent reads the book while the volunteer records the reading onto a digital voice recorder. The book and CD are mailed to the child.

To participate in MARCHing Books to Kids, please follow the 3 calls to action:

#1 Pledge to donate a new picture book/s to Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.  Authors are invited to sign their books.  Please include a note stating that your book is part of the Picture Book Pass it On/MARCHing Books to Kids initiative.  Books may be mailed to:

VNS of Iowa, Storybook Project

c/o Tabby Kuehl

1111 9th Street

Suite 320

Des Moines, Iowa 50314

#2 Post your pledge on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO .  Share it on your blog and on social media.  Please include our badge and #PBPiO, and #MARCHingBookstoKids

#3 Pass it on.  When you post about your pledge, challenge one or more friends to join your #PBPiO  giving chain.  Encourage them to take the pledge and keep passing it on…

If distance prohibits your ability to mail books to the Storybook Project.  Please consider donating books to children in need in your own community.  Oh, and be sure to share your giving story on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO We love to see how books are reaching kids all over the globe.

Please feel free to contact me at www.michelleeastmanbooks.com

Thank you for making the difference in the lives of children and families!

PBPiO badge

My 3 Calls to Action:

#1 Pledge: I pledge to donate five signed copies of my picture book, Mama’s Purse, to the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project.

#2 Post: I will share my pledge on the Picture Book Pass it On #PBPiO Facebook page, my blog, and social media:

Facebook author page

Facebook blog page

Facebook book page

Twitter

Pinterest

#3 Pass it on: I challenge YOU to join the #PBPiO giving chain. Take the pledge and keep passing it on!

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30 thoughts on “MARCH-ing Books to Kids

  1. Do they have to be picture books? Can we authors provide other books we have published? I have no picture book available however I DO have other books that are age appropriate for youngsters, more the age of reason such as 8 +

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  3. Hello AJ…so nice to meet you…I’ve seen you RT my blog posts…thank you so much! And when you commented on one of my PB 14:14 posts, I just had to come and visit.
    I love your mission…we are on the same page. I’ve donated picture books to Reach Out and Read, a national hospital-based pre-literacy program that links reading aloud with giving books to children aged six months to five years during clinic visits.
    I will reblog tomorrow…I already did two posts today…I don’t want to overload my followers. 😉
    Also, I don’t have a published picture book of my own (yet)…but I am the author of a parenting resource (Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking) that gives 100 picture book summaries and a quick and easy craft project plus a simple child-friendly recipe for each title. Would that be of value to the program…perhaps for the parents or the facilitators in the program? Let me know and I would be glad to participate by sending 5 copies. 🙂
    You can email me at viviankirkfield@gmail.com

    • What a wonderful book! I would love to share this with my kiddos. Picture books + cooking and crafting = an awesome fun time! It is wonderful to connect with you. I’ve noticed we participate in a lot of the same writing groups and challenges. Michelle Eastman is the founder of Picture Book Pass it On. She has direct contact with the coordinator of the VNS Story Book Project. I’m sure your book is a perfect fit for the program, but if you have more questions you can contact Michelle 🙂 http://www.michelleeastmanbooks.com/contact-me.html Have a great weekend!

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    • You are so fabulous, Vivian! Thank you for spreading the word and for donating your wonderful book! And thank you for linking to my post! My last name is Irving 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  6. AJ-
    You are a powerhouse! Wow! Thank you so much for getting so many authors on-board. The VNS staff are thrilled with the donations. They give away about 80 books a month, so every single donation is appreciated!

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