Book’em creates a more literate Nashville by helping economically disadvantaged children, from birth through high school, discover the joy and value of reading through book ownership and enthusiastic volunteers.
Book’em began in 1989 when four women (Lee Fairbend, Karen Estevez-Gill, Georgeanne Chapman, and Ruth Ann Harnisch) united to find opportunities to assist Reading Is FUNdamental Nashville in meeting its needs for books and volunteers. Books were collected and distributed through the Christmas Clearing Bureau (CCB).
The organization grew through the years distributing tens of thousands of books each year and adding a reading program in pre-schools, Ready for Reading, which is still offered today.
Book’em merged with Reading is FUNdamental, the oldest literacy group in the Nashville area, in 2006. Today, Book’em administers the RIF program in ten Title I Metro elementary schools.
Each year Book’em sponsors Read Me Day, a special celebration of reading in one of the RIF schools its serves, to raise awareness of the importance of providing literary services to Nashville children.
Through its Books for Nashville Kids book distribution program, Book’em provides a service that no other Nashville nonprofit offers — getting thousands of books to nonprofits that serve underprivileged Nashville children. Book’em provides books to Habitat for Humanity, Second Harvest, Metro Nashville Schools, Lentz Dental Clinic, St. Luke’s Community House, Fannie Battle and many more organizations. Each year, more than 30,000 books are distributed through Books for Nashville Kids.