What's Happening: June 2020


Summer Reading

June came and went pretty quickly this year, but we still got a bunch of books out into the community. We had over 20 schools and organizations request books through the month of June and provided over 5,100 books! Organizations like Cole Elementary, Haywood Elementary, Robert Churchwell Elementary, East Nashville Hope Exchange, Water Walkers, Hispanic Family Foundation, Metro Action Commission, and more have requested, and we love continuing to support our partners! The pictures above come from our friends at Youth Encouragement Services.
Request books for your summer programming! Groups who can request books include the following entities located in Davidson County serving primarily low income youth ages 0-18:
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Title I Schools
  • Child Development Centers and Resource Centers
  • Government Agencies
  • Other groups serving low-income children and families in Davidson County

RIF Readers Survey

2019-20 School Year Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) Readers: please complete This Survey. This data helps us report outcomes and improve our services. We'll be sharing initial plans about RIF for the coming school year soon. Thank you!

Update on Book'em's Staff

Connie Williams has served as our part-time Reading Programs Coordinator for several years. As she retires (effective June 30), we want to say a huge thank you to Connie for being part of our team and making a difference in the lives of so many people. While she won't be on our staff, we look forward to engaging with her as a volunteer.We wish her the best!
More news - Stacey Vanyo, our full-time Books and Operations Coordinator, recently welcomed Joanna Mae Vanyo to her family. Mom, dad and daughter are doing well. Stacey is on maternity leave until mid-September, when she'll return to work part-time.
Our staff as of July 2020 (currently working) includes:

Meet the Book'em Interns!


Volunteer Opportunities

Read our current volunteer guidelines

  1. Process in book donations and assist with book distributions. We need your help to provide books to Nashville's kids this summer! Please note that we're currently scheduling volunteers in 2 week chunks, so keep checking for the most up-to-date opportunities. Sign up to volunteer.
  2. Write encouraging notes or create bookmarks - Let a child know that you're thinking of them and reading is important! Mail us words of inspiration and/or bookmarks that we can add to book distributions this summer. Mail to: Book'em, 161 Rains Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203.
  3. Read a story online - Email Jocelyn if you'd like to make a read aloud video on our Oh, the Books We'll Read! YouTube Channel. Email our Young Professionals Board if you'd like to read aloud on our Facebook page.

Book'em Needs Temporary Home

In order to operate our book programs safely, Book'em needs a temporary home (again). MNPS and NPT have helped and been great, but we need to find a place where we can operate with plenty of space for us that is accessible regardless of which "Phase" Nashville is in.
Below are some of the specifications we think we need. If you or someone you know might be able to help and you want more information, please contact Melissa Spradlin. Thank you!
  • About 500 square feet - 20 x 20 or something similar; could be 2 rooms
  • Move in sometime in July
  • Option to stay until December 2020 if possible
  • Access Monday through Friday between 9 and 4 (and/or 8-5) - during all phases of the Mayor's reopening plan - even during Safer at Home orders
  • Easy access to outside for book donations, drop-offs and book pick-ups, bringing volunteers into the space, etc. (We use handcarts to move books into and out of the building and sometimes have rather large donations and pick-ups.)
  • Air conditioning and heating
  • A good deal on the price (special discount) and/or in-kind donation.

Amazon Wish List

We have updated our Amazon Wish List based on initial recommendations for books that support conversations about race, feature characters of color, and celebrate the cultures of traditionally underrepresented groups. This is not an exhaustive list and we are open to any suggestions that you may have. Books purchased from this list are sent directly to our office. You can also purchase books from Parnassus or other local bookstores and ship or drop off the books.


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