Thanksgiving Day is upon us once again here in the United States – it’s my absolute favorite holiday of the year. Not only do I love eating yummy food, but I also love spending time being surrounded by family and friends. And what is it about Thanksgiving that makes food taste so good on that specific day?
This year I’ve been more intentional about showing gratitude and appreciation for the things and people I have in my life. I thought since Thanksgiving is tomorrow it’s the perfect day for me to share a few bookish things I’m grateful for this year.
Started in July 2018 by my children, the mission of the 50 States 50 Books project has one main mission: help close the literacy gap in America and expose more children to diverse literature. Our goal is to collect 50 diverse children’s books for each of the 50 U.S. states and donate them to deserving schools, libraries, and other organizations throughout the country. So far, we’ve collected over 650 diverse children’s books and donated them to 13 different states.
We’ll soon receive a gracious 800-book donation from a publishing company which will help us complete 16 additional states. That will take our total to 29 completed states, with 21 remaining left.
So far the excitement and support for our project has been amazing! We’ve been featured in our local newspaper, local television morning talk show, The Huffington Post and Moneyish. The kids’ school even got in on the action and allowed us to have 3 donation boxes throughout the school for our book drive.
My kids also received a Kid Kindness grant for their project from Kindness Grows Here. The money received from the grant will go towards our shipping and supplies expenses allowing us to ship books 50 at a time to 6-8 different states.
If you’d like to support us by sending us new or gently used diverse children’s books for kids ages 0 – 17 you can send them here:
50 States 50 Books
P.O. Box 992
Middletown, CT 06457
To make monetary donations (to help us cover shipping and shipping supplies) please visit our Go Fund Me page. My children also have a wish list of books to choose from if you’d like to make a book donation. You can find the wish list here.
2. The Bookstagram Community on Instagram
Would you believe nearly 4 years ago I had no idea what Instagram was or how to use it? Yeah, I was a little late to joining the social media world, but now I LOVE it – especially Instagram. Instagram is the one social media platform that I gravitated to the most and it’s where I’ve found a sense of community.
Prior to joining Instagram, I was clueless there was this whole bookstagram community of book lovers out there like myself. I’m eternally grateful for the kind people I’ve met and collaborated with over the years. By sharing, networking and collaborating with others, I’ve been able to grow my audience organically to over 35,000 people on Instagram alone. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with brands and local businesses, libraries, connect with authors/illustrators and other bloggers. Oh, and let’s not forget all of the wonderful books I’ve found out about from other book bloggers, parents and educators! My TBR list is SO long because there are so many amazing books out there to read.
3. Completing My First Library Program
In September 2018, I began my first ever library program at one of my local libraries. It turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve had all year. Each week we explored a different region around the world, read picture books and worked on craft projects. The program was geared towards children up to age 6 and allowed us all to “travel around the world” through books.
Each week taught me new lessons about things like: giving, sharing, patience, kindness, empathy, and using your imagination. The kids also reminded me of the importance of incorporating laughter and play in your day.
Overall, 2018 has been a good year for me and my family thus far. With just a few more weeks left in the year, I’m excited to see the new bookish things I’ll be adding to my gratitude list in the weeks and months ahead.
Your turn: What are some bookish (or non-bookish) things you’re grateful for this year? Feel free to share in the comments.