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A truckload of new books!

May 23, 2012

First Book Staff with Carolyn Appleton

By Julia Rogers

Everyone at CLiF was thrilled a few weeks back when we heard that Barre Town School teacher Carolyn Appleton had secured a special First Book distribution exclusively for Vermont-based organizations.  This meant that CLiF could apply to receive thousands of new books for free from First Book.  And if we could pick them up at the distribution site in Brattleboro, we didn’t even need to pay for shipping!

For those of you not familiar with First Book, it is a non-profit dedicated to providing low-cost and free books to schools and programs serving low-income youth.  They do this by partnering with large publishers who donate excessive inventory to First Book.  This alliance allows publishers to clear back stock while filing a great need for access to books for needy schools and programs.  To date, First Book has distributed over 90 million books to children in the US and Canada.  That’s pretty impressive!

So last week I was charged with picking up the books from the Vermont Food Bank warehouse in Brattleboro.  The cheery First Book staff greeted me at the warehouse and helped me load 53 boxes of new books into my rented truck.  Titles included Apple Pie ABC, Fairies and the Quest for Neverland, Peekaboo Baby and several titles from the Artemis Fowl series.   All these books are very popular with the children we serve, and with our upcoming Summer Readers program about to begin, I have a feeling they will be gone before I know it!

Now 53 boxes heavier, my truck chugged to the storage facility of a private donor for another pick-up.  This donor had been distributing books to underfunded schools in cities for many years thanks to a sponsorship from Scholastic, but no longer had the capacity to continue the program.  I gladly took several pallets of books off her hands and loaded them up.

I pulled into the CLiF headquarters the next day with over 4,000 new books to add to our collection.  That afternoon I attended a party hosted by Carolyn to celebrate the distribution.  All the recipients of the distribution attended and enjoyed some food, socializing and a storytelling for the local afterschool program.  We are so thankful to be connected with organizations and people who care about our mission as much as we do.   Thank you to everyone involved in the recent distribution as well as all the CLiF supporters who donate new books.  We couldn’t do it without you!

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