read.repeat is working with Eco Brothers Inc. to raise money to purchase books containing Diversity to donate to "Start Of School Reading Packs" and Classroom Libraries in Hillsborough County and to stock vending machines filled with books located in several schools in Florida! These reading packs will help give kids an early access to many amazing books at the start of the school year, and will give kids in our county a chance to see themselves in the books that they read! We are also trying to buy two more Little Free Libraries for Title 1 Schools.
I’m Chase Hartman and in the past six years, I've donated more 200,000 new and used books to all 50 states as part of a project we created called “read.repeat.” www.readrepeat.org
Our passion is collecting used books through book drives for our local county school system to be given either directly to the schools’ classroom libraries or given to children who might not otherwise own books. We’ve donated more than 100,000 books to kids in our county… but there’s one problem. Most of the books we donate only represent a small percentage of the children attending those schools. In Hillsborough County 35% of the students are Hispanic and another large percentage of students are African American. It's important for them to see themselves in the books they read.
We’ve donated books to 60 schools and Summer Camps in the county and visited dozens of schools meeting thousands of children. The faces we see aren’t always the same faces in the books. We realized we need to purchase high interest books-with-diversity, representing the minorities in our county which make up the majority of the students we visit.
Studies show that only 1 out 300 kids in struggling areas own books and kids who do own books do better in school. It’s our goal to give kids books that represent them! As leaders of the only “kid-run” book collecting project in the county we hold a seat on the Hillsborough County Literacy Advisory Team. It is their goal, as well as ours, to collect high-interest books to represent the many cultures and skin tones in our county. We have partnered over the last five years with Hillsborough County Public Schools and we donate thousands of books each year for Summer Reading Packs and Back to School Packs. This year, we want to see more diversity in the packs.
Of course, we love our donations of used books, but we know this is the only way we are able to reach the many kids who’s faces aren’t represented in the popular book series. We want to introduce them to many popular book characters like EllRay Jakes, Freddie Ramos, Sofia Martinez and Little Shaq.
I've have worked hard to promote literacy in our county. We've won the Hillsborough County Literacy Association’s Celebrate Literacy Award, The Barbara Hancock Literacy Award as well as the state-wide Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Award. My work has been recognized by the EPA, Prudential, Points of Light and the Lightning Hockey Team. Our efforts are proven. We work hard for the kids attending Title 1 Schools in struggling areas. We appreciate you support!
Check out our Social Media pages as well:
readrepeat.org and ecobrothesinc.org