Book Build

Bookmarks is pleased to announce a new initiative, Book Build: Fostering Connections by Building Collections, which is focused on infusing the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School libraries with new books.

Red oval, text: Donate NowAmong the most-needed reading materials in our schools are culturally relevant titles, books published in the last three to five years, and multiple copies of popular/high interest books. With Book Build, 25,000 new books (approximately 308 per school) will be infused into all Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School libraries through the fall semester of 2020. In addition, the Bookmarks in Schools program will arrange author visits, volunteer help, and funding for media assistant support to help process the new books during the semester in which they are received.

For children living in poverty, school libraries are sometimes the only access to current and appropriate reading material. In a national study, students’ standardized test scores were better in the schools that maintained or gained a librarian while providing a wide variety of current resources. The Association for Library Service to Children stated: “Diverse, culturally authentic materials in library collections allow all children to meet people like themselves and develop an appreciation for the beauty of their culture and the cultures of others.”

“We are proud of our new home for the literary arts—a nonprofit independent bookstore and gathering space in downtown Winston-Salem. Our new location is enabling us to provide more opportunities for everyone in our community to participate in reading and writing activities including meeting authors and participating in community conversations,” said Ginger Hendricks, Bookmarks Executive Director. “We love and support our public school library media coordinators and want to assist them in their endeavor to expand young minds. With this new initiative, our goal is to provide inspiration and opportunities to create a love of reading for all students.”

Drawing on published data about the importance of current books in school libraries and Bookmarks’ mission of connecting readers with books, a goal of raising $450,000 by the fall of 2020 has been established. The first sets of books will be delivered this fall to elementary, middle, and high schools with a focus on schools designated as priority schools. Delivery of books to schools will continue through 2020 as Bookmarks advocates and fundraises towards the goal until all Winston-Salem Forsyth County schools are reached. The books will expand 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.

"Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is fortunate to have such tremendous community support,” said Superintendent Beverly Emory. “We appreciate the commitment of organizations like Bookmarks to help provide relevant resources for our students. We are grateful for the opportunity to enhance our library collections with new books that reflect our rich and diverse population."

“Providing that spark to turn a child into a lifelong reader is magical,” said Rachel Kuhn Stinehelfer, Bookmarks Education and Program Specialist. “These new collections will feature award-winning contemporary nonfiction and fiction books including diverse books that reflect our community and the children reading them in the pages and on the covers.” 

The first donations made to Book Build will be matched up to $20,000 by four anonymous donors, which will impact school libraries this fall. Additional individual, sponsor, and grant funding will be sought with the hope that Winston-Salem Forsyth County community will come together to support our public school libraries in raising $450,000. Donations may be made to Bookmarks by clicking here or by mail: 634 W. Fourth Street #110, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Please put "Book Build" on your memo line. 

“Our hope is to build on the amazing work of Project Impact and other efforts that are already going on in our schools to improve reading levels for young readers,” said Hendricks. “We want to help students continue to read—and enjoy reading—throughout their time in school and into their adult lives.


  .In the Media:

Fundraising Initiative Looks to Put Hundreds More Books in Each WS/FCS Media Center (Winston-Salem Journal 06/05/2018)


Updates will be posted as we reach new goals! For any questions or additional information, contact Ginger Hendricks, Executive Director.