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Home > About Us > In the News2 > 2021-06-15 4,000 Books to Education Foundation

What do you get when you combine a local boy scout troop, a local business with a commitment to giving back to the community, and an education foundation? An opportunity to put books into the hands of kids who need them, that's what.

Discover Books' Market Manager, Ava Jordan, was contacted by Boy Scout Troop 109B’s Committee Chair, Nancy May. May was hoping to secure 200 children's books to give to The Educational Foundation of BCPS. Discover Books was thrilled to help, but Jordan saw an opportunity to provide even more. May had no idea when she first called Discover Books that they would be so willing to give. May put Jordan in direct contact with Deborah Phelps, Executive Director of The Educational Foundation of BCPS. A plan was developed to deliver 4,000 children's books directly to the BCPS foundation supporting the RISE for a Brighter Future (Relief in Securing Education) campaign.

As the learning landscape took a drastic shift across our country and around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, RISE was launched by the foundation. RISE sustains equitable access to critical education supplies and resources and provides support for the delivery of remote and in-person learning by BCPS teachers and for BCPS student’s growth, as aligned with the needs of the district and as directed by the Superintendent during these challenging times and beyond. RISE is comprised of Tools for School (academic classroom and therapeutic art supplies and social-emotional resources for a student’s and teacher’s wellbeing) to support the Continuity of Learning and Books for Bins (level appropriate books, Pre-K through 12) to support student Continuity of Learning and Literacy.

This donation comes at the tail end of the SEL Summit held in February by BCPS. The summit focused on the children's social-emotional health in the community, which included helping staff, parents, and caregivers. According to the summit's website, three key goals were highlighted "awareness (self-awareness and self-regulation), relationships (social awareness and social relations), and decision-making.” Reading books helps one reset and relax, and studies have shown that reading increases empathy and emotional intelligence as well.

Discover Books is a for-profit company that believes wholeheartedly in giving back. "We started with the goal of diverting books from landfills back in 2003. Millions of books were diverted from the trash, but we were amazed to see how much good could come from this business. From the beginning, we resold, donated, and recycled millions and millions of books. Our tagline is Let the Stories Live On, and the magic happens when a gently used book is placed in the hands of a reader," stated Tyler Hincy, VP of Sales and Marketing at Discover Books. Hincy recalls the joy of seeing a child receive a book and ask, "Is it mine to keep forever."

"We love partnering with organizations focused on the positive effects of books in a person's life," said Hincy. What started as a simple Boy Scout project to provide 200 books to The Educational Foundation of BCPS merged into 4000 books made available to children throughout the community. This is just a small example of what happens when businesses, communities, and youth groups come together to make life a little better. The Education Foundation of BCPS will distribute the books for students' pleasure and relaxation, to improve literacy, increase self-care, and build home and classroom libraries throughout the district. It is a bonus that the reuse of the books is good for the environment as well.

Troop 109B collected 6078 books total. This was their first year doing this event and they felt successful. They are already planning ways to expand it next year. Good work boys!

Book distribution will take place at the foundation’s two collaborative educator’s resource centers, the Exchangeree: Gizmos and Gadget Galore in partnership with Merritt Companies (Windsor Mill) and the Exchangeree: Gizmos and Gadget Galore in partnership with Federal Realty at THE AVENUE at White Marsh. Details forthcoming.

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