What is BookBooster?

BookBooster is a charitable organization that provides book grants for low-income schools. BookBooster raises money primarily through recurring donations, and aims to build a community of donors while informing that community about the schools it serves. All book grants are deposited as credit to the First Book marketplace, which school leaders use to purchase books at an affordable rate. Over the 2016-2017 academic year, BookBooster will serve 20 high-need schools in the Bay Area – 2 schools each month.

Every 2 weeks, we’ll send updates about the schools we serve, and how those schools plan to use the funds they are given to help improve literacy for their students.

Why provide books for schools?

Many low-income schools across the country are located in “Book-Deserts” – neighborhoods devoid of bookstores, well-stocked libraries, and resources to acquire books. On average, middle-income neighborhoods have 16 times as many books as low-income neighborhoods. In these “Book Deserts,” two-thirds of schools cannot afford to buy books at retail prices. BookBooster was founded to help bring books to neighborhoods that need them most, and help improve literacy across the country.

The results of a recent survey distributed by the BookBooster team showed that 83% of teachers demonstrated a need for more books, 97% said an increase in books would lead to growth, and 86% expressed an interest in a platform that facilitates book donations. Additionally, studies show that the only behavioral measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in schools and homes. Overall, access to books:

  • improves reading performance.
  • is instrumental in helping students learn the basics of reading, such as letter and word identification, phonemic awareness, and completion of sentences
  • prompts students to read more frequently and for greater amounts of time
  • improves students’ attitudes toward reading and learning

How does BookBooster work?

  1. Donors sign up to give recurring donations each month, based on a number of books (1 book = $3).
  2. Twice per month, BookBooster uses donations to provide “Book grants” for high-need schools. All funds are provided in the form of credit to a subsidized bookseller.
  3. Donors receive information about the schools and how the money is used.

How are donations used?

100% of donations are used to give free books to schools. No fees are used for organization overhead, website maintenance, etc. The BookBooster team works on a purely volunteer basis.

All donations are securely processed through our website using Stripe, which requires a small transaction fee. We’ve automatically included this fee to ensure schools receive 100% of donations.

Donors choosing to give on a recurring basis will be charged on the 15th of every month. All recurring donations will automatically end on May 15, 2017.

How does BookBooster select recipient schools?

BookBooster aims to work with the highest-need schools in the city it is serving. To do so, we rely heavily on local educational organizations – including not-for-profits, subsidized booksellers, and various school leadership groups--to help identify schools lacking resources. At minimum, all recipient schools serve student bodies with 70% or more families eligible for free and reduced lunch (or with household incomes less than $40,000).

Is BookBooster an incorporated 501(c)(3)?

No. However, all donations will be processed through First Book, a not-for-profit organization. As a result, donations will still qualify for tax-deductions.

Does BookBooster accept book donations?

Please email support@bookbooster.org if you are interested in donating books. We are in talks with partnering with organizations that will allow for book donations. Stay tuned!