What is BookBooster?

BookBooster aims to enhance student literacy, and help close the Book Gap in the Bay Area. Through a partnership with First Book — a nonprofit that helps subsidize books for high-need schools — BookBooster awards “Book Grants” to Bay Area schools each month throughout the school year.

After working with First Book to identify Bay Area schools with the greatest need, BookBooster awards Book Grants as credit to the First Book Marketplace — an online platform that sells brand new, low-cost books. On average, books listed on the First Book Marketplace cost $3 each.

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. BookBooster donors give recurring or one-time donations. On average, $3 provides 1 new book.
  2. Through nonprofit First Book, BookBooster awards Book Grants to schools in the form of credit to the First Book Marketplace.
  3. Donors receive information about the recipient schools, how the money will be used, and more.

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 the schools it supports?

BookBooster aims to work with the highest-need schools in the Bay Area. To do so, it leverages a new research tool from First Book that uses public and proprietary data to reveal “Resource Deserts.” BookBooster has used this tool to identify and partner with schools who serve student bodies with 70% or more families eligible for free and reduced lunch, and have expressed a need for books.

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?

While this isn’t our primary offering, we are happy to find a home for books (provided they are appropriate for elementary, middle and high school students). Please email [email protected] if you are interested in donating books!