Largest Distribution to Date: Book Party in a Bag
To make sure everyone felt safe and comfortable this year, The Largest Book Party in St. Louis was modified and packed neatly into a bag for classrooms and daycares serving young kids in need in our community. Party-goers picked up their Book Party in a Bag in October at the James J. Eagan Center in Florissant.
In each bag, kids found 4 new books, a Book Party t-shirt, and a snack just for them. The best part was access to our unique Book Party Story Time - a pre-recorded video series featuring local librarians, volunteers, an author, and Florissant Police Officers all reading from some of their favorite children's books.
More than 1,880 children received books and bags of goodies; and more than 7,500 new books were distributed in one afternoon!
A huge success, thanks to our sponsors and partners: Arthur & Helen Baer Foundation, Jenny Birge, Pi Beta Phi/Sign of the Arrow, Cardinals Care, Simmons Bank, Martha and Jim Bogart, and the Staenberg Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of Jewish Federation of St. Louis. With special thanks to the City of Florissant: Parks and Recreation Department, and the James J. Eagan Center.
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.