Founded in 2005, Book for Collier Kids (formerly First Book-Collier County) has a single mission: to provide new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy—access to books.
For the past 12 years, we have worked diligently to address the problem of literacy in our community. We distribute books monthly to disadvantaged children in pre-K, kindergarten, and first- and second-grade classrooms across Collier County, in Head Start programs and Title I schools serving children whose families are living at or below the federal poverty level. Each book has a nameplate with the student’s name printed on it. Children take their books home, to read again and again and share with their families. These books are often the first ones in their homes.
Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we have provided over 800,000 books to needy children in Collier County. We currently distribute 75,000 books to approximately 7,000 children each school year.
We obtain most of our books through First Book Marketplace, a national organization that offers first-quality new books at a fraction of their retail price.
Our book distribution chair, a Ph.D. educator, selects the books to support and reinforce the curriculum in the children’s classrooms and extends the schools’ reading and learning efforts. She works closely with the teachers to ensure that all of the books selected are age appropriate and worthwhile. The children’s reading and learning skills are strengthened as they read the books again and again at home, often sharing the stories with their sisters, brothers and parents.
In addition to giving books to needy children in the Collier County Public School System, we partner with over 20 other nonprofits in Collier County that serve disadvantaged young children.