Book Build was a three-year, $450,000 initiative focused on infusing the k-12 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School libraries with current, culturally-relevant books. Between 2018 and 2020, we donated 25,000 books.
Through Book Build, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School libraries were infused with 25,000 new books (310+ books specifically chosen by and curated for each school). Among the most-needed reading materials are culturally-relevant titles, books published in the last three to five years, and multiple copies of popular books. Additionally, Bookmarks arranged author visits, volunteer help, and funding for media assistant support to help process the new books during the semester in which they are received.
25,000 books have now been processed and delivered to local elementary, middle, and high schools. The books have expanded the schools’ collection with new library books for check out and will be chosen according to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system’s selection guidelines with guidance from the media coordinators and teachers.
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“Ultimately our goals for this initiative are to raise the average publishing year of the books in each school library, to provide relevant and diverse books, and to offer young readers a realistic and authentic mirror of their own lives and experiences through books that are readily available for them to check out and read. For many students, their only access to books is through their school library, so this will make an impact on the students directly. If children recognize themselves in their reading, they will connect with the story and develop positive self-images as they grow into adults. Diverse books also offer global awareness and teach all students to celebrate, support, and ultimately understand other cultures and perspectives.”
— A S H L E Y B R Y A N Bookmarks Youth & Schools Coordinator
"Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is fortunate to have such tremendous community support. We appreciate the commitment of organizations like Bookmarks to help provide relevant resources for students. We are grateful for the opportunity to enhance our library collections with new books that reflect our rich and diverse population."
— D R . B E V E R L Y E M O R Y Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Former Superintendent