All over the country, education budgets are being slashed, teachers are having their pay cut, and students are struggling. Classroom libraries, which tend to be teacher-funded (out of teachers’ own pockets), are certainly suffering. However, research shows that classroom libraries are vital – they encourage students to read more! We need to do everything we can to encourage students to become lifelong readers. But it takes a village to raise a reader.
As a blogger/reviewer, I am extremely lucky. I have access to review copies and ARCs, which are all donated to my classroom library. The books are reviewed by me (most of them), then passed on. My students, all members of Goodreads, then share their thoughts on Goodreads, so the authors and books receive more word-of-mouth advertising. Inevitably, some students end up purchasing a copy (e-book or paper) because they want their own copy. It’s a win-win situation.
My students love review copies, but ARCs are even more magical. Nothing hooks a reluctant reader like the promise of reading a book before the rest of the world has access to it. That, plus the knowledge that they can then share their thoughts on Goodreads is the best motivator I have! So many bloggers have ARCs collecting dust on their shelves, or end up tossing them into the trash because they plan to purchase the hardcover when it is released. Recycle those ARCs and get them into the hands of kids and teens!
But we need bloggers! I have over 200 teachers, with more signing up everyday, looking to partner with bloggers/reviewers. The teachers are divided by age level. I have early elementary looking for picture books and early readers, middle grade teachers, and high school teachers looking for YA and adult books. How can you help? Sign up and become a book fairy! Tell me what type of ARCs or review books you are looking to “float on” to students and teachers. Teachers have volunteered to pay for shipping via USPS flat rate mail. None of the teachers are picky- they will take any books you are able to stuff into the flat rate box!
How does it work? You sign up via the Googledocs form. I then pair you with a teacher looking for books in the category you place yourself in. You will be contacted with the contact info for a teacher or two. At that point, you can email the teacher(s) and set up shipping payment via Paypal, check, or anything else you are comfortable with. Then, you mail out your books and somewhere, students are very, very happy! The books you send are up to you- ARCs, review copies, anything you have. Classroom libraries are in need and YOU can help. Plus, you get to clean off your bookshelves and make room for new books!
It’s easy. I’ve already mailed off about 10 packages to teachers in elementary school and middle school, clearing my shelves of the books not appropriate for my current grade level. It’s a fantastic feeling, knowing how those students light up when their classroom teacher brings in a box of brand new books. Don’t you want to be a part of that magic, too?
Questions? Comment here, or contact me on Twitter @thereadingzone. And please- pass on the word to other bloggers/reviewers!
*#ARCsFloatOn is endorsed by many of the major publishers! They are happy to see ARCs getting into the hands of students. ARCs can not be cataloged in a library, but classroom libraries are a-ok. The ARCs don’t last long (a season or so) and most teachers then end up purchasing a hardcover copy. Again, a win-win for publishers and students alike.