Goodwill to give teachers 35,000 free books Saturday, Aug. 26 to support critical need in Washington Schools

To address the need for age appropriate books in elementary and middle schools in southwest Washington, Goodwill will give approximately 1,000 teachers and educators 35,000 free books at three Kent, Tacoma and Olympia thrift stores on Saturday, Aug 26.

“Helping people gain the skills and education they need for employment starts at the very beginning, with our kids,” said Lori Forte Harnick, President and CEO of Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region.  “Our Goodwill team is thrilled to have the opportunity to donate 35,000 books to teachers and their students across our community.”

Image courtesy Goodwill

Image courtesy Goodwill

Approximately 35,000 free books for educators will be available Saturday, August 26, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at three Goodwill Outlet stores in Tacoma, Kent and Olympia (addresses below). Goodwill will offer an assortment of children’s books, from early learning picture books to readers, chapter books, and teen and young adult series for older students.

“Being active with parent boards at my daughter’s schools, I’ve seen firsthand the tremendous need for more books and supplies,” said Jennifer Kupka, President of the Columbia Junior High Boosters Program.  “Our teachers spend so much of their own money for their classrooms and many students cannot afford even the basics.  While parent groups work hard to raise money to support reading programs, there is still a great need, especially in lower income districts,” said Kupka.

Teachers and educators simply furnish proof of their occupation with their school ID to take up to 30 books each back to their school.  Teachers will also receive coupons for their students good for an additional free book per student at all regional Goodwill stores to use as classroom incentives.  Books will be available on a first come, first served basis.

“Teachers are constantly looking for ways to expand students’ access to relevant and meaningful books to support their early literacy teaching, said Josh Garcia, Deputy Superintendent for Tacoma Public Schools.  Garcia also says that. “Kids need more than text books to develop the foundation of literacy and prose, two skills that are critical to thinking and performance later in life.   Right now one of the top teacher grant requests at middle- and elementary schools is for take-home reading materials to develop this important foundation.”

Numerous problems contribute to why many elementary school students struggle with reading: lack of classroom resources such as age-appropriate reading books; little-to-no print resources available in the home; stressed home environments that prevent or eliminate family reading; lack of access to quality child care and pre-K opportunities; class sizes that make it difficult to give special help; and other health and learning issues, from poor nutrition to asthma to dyslexia.

Store locations:

Goodwill Tacoma Outlet store, 3120 S. Pine Street; Goodwill Olympia Outlet store, 4014 Martin Way E.; Goodwill Kent Outlet store, 315 Washington Avenue South.

- Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region