Another successful year!
The Largest Book Party in St. Louis was a great success in its 7th year on September 24, 2019 at the James J. Eagan Community Center in Florissant! More than 450 kids loved hearing stories from library readers and Florissant & Ferguson Police officers! Of course the main attraction were the 4 new books that they were able to select and take home to keep. More than 1,800 books were given away.
We appreciated our sponsors: Pi Beta Phi and Sign of the Arrow, Cardinals Care, Capes Sokol, St. Louis County Library Foundation, Florissant Valley Kiwanis Club and Barnes & Noble.
And the 61 volunteers that came out to help from a variety of organizations: The Junior League of St. Louis, Elsevier, and the National Charity League-Gateway Chapter. Thank you!
Other events and programs
We participate and host many events throughout the year:
Book Parties - Book parties are held with a variety of groups at any time during the year. Age-appropriate stories are read to the children, a snack is provided and then the children are able to pick out a variety of books. In some cases, the children take home as many as five books to keep!
The Largest Book Party in Saint Louis - This is one of our favorite initiatives to make a real difference in the lives of disadvantaged children in our community. At The Largest Book Party, 400+ children from low-income families enjoy story time, snacks and picking out three to four new books to take home.
Penny-A-Page - For 12 years, this annual read-a-thon in local schools was our signature fundraiser. Over the years sponsors have included St. Louis Suburban Reading Council, Baskin Robbins, Commerce Bank, UMB Bank, the St. Louis Rams and The Magic House. This highly successful project resulted in 5,700 students reading 1,061,045 pages and collecting $84,821 in donations! Any school is welcome to contact us for details on how to participate.
Fatherhood Walk & Rally - For 5 years, we distributed new books to participants in this fantastic event and spread the word about our mission.
NCJW Back to School! Store - For more than 10 years, we have helped the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) with a book corner for their event. More than 1,000 children from low-income families enjoy an afternoon of “shopping” for school supplies and clothes and a few new books from us.
Strong Women & Families Health & Resource Fair - Books for STL Kids provides books to this Junior League of St. Louis event. In its 10th year, this resource fair was held at Grace Hill and brought women and resources together in the St. Louis community. More than 500 underserved women received information and services. We have been pleased to provide the children of these families with new books to take home and keep.
Gift Wrapping at Barnes & Noble - Volunteers wrap books and other items at various Barnes & Noble stores during November and December. Donations are made for the gift wrapping service and customers learn more about Books for STL Kids while they wait.
Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive - In 2019, we were again named the recipient group for Barnes & Noble - Chesterfield as well as Barnes & Noble - Fenton. During the two-month holiday season, customers were asked to donate a book. Customers donated 7,291 new books between the two stores.
Motion for Kids - This annual holiday party, formerly called Project Angel Tree, is a partnership project between the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL), the Saint Louis Bar Foundation, the St. Louis Blues, St. Louis Cardinals, Saint Louis University and the Isaac Bruce Foundation. The party is for St. Louis area children with a parent in the Missouri prison system. For many years, we have helped this worthy cause by giving books to their reading corner. The event serves more than 3,000 underprivileged children annually.
Holiday Breakfast - Books for STL Kids sponsors an annual Holiday Breakfast. This event honors grant recipients, local partners and friends of First Book. A video overview of the year’s activities is shared at the event.