PoWeR! Book Bags 

Empowering children to Play, Write, and Read today for a better tomorrow!

With all of the sad and bad news in the world, I wanted to share some happy things that are happening in Northern Michigan. I understand the importance of empowering children to love books at an early age. There are MANY great organizations doing just that in Michigan, one of which is PoWeR! Book Bags. They are a non-profit working to break the cycle of poverty through literacy, giving out books to kids across Northern Lower Michigan.

As an indie publisher, my company, KPO Creative LLC, has donated over 1,800 books in the past three years to PoWeR! Book Bags. (In case you didn’t know, I have four bright and colorful board books that were created to foster a love for books at an early age, after reading this, click on this link to check them out!) It is my joy to see my board books being put to good use in my community! It makes me so happy to know that kids are enjoying my baby books, especially in this time of homeschooling and home learning. My hope is that the fun stories and colorful illustrations are helping to foster a love of reading and playing with books! Here is a little bit more about the project:

PoWer! Book Bag’s mission is to expand the number of books that children own and to increase children’s experiences with language, literacy, and human interaction. Since they began four years ago, the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization allowed children to choose 110,000 books for their very own, along with 27,722 book bags that contain playing and writing materials. The kids also get a useful purple bag to carry all their picks! The group has grown and now serves children at 21 pantries and sites of assistance and 17 schools (soon to be 21)! They offer both new and used books and the kids love picking out their own books on topics they are passionate about!

Kara Murphy Gregory, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director of PoWeR! Book Bags wrote about “Magic Numbers” in her 2019 annual report: “In the research, these special numbers are correlated with a child’s future life potential. When there are 10-20 books in the home, this is “typical’’ and the child is likely just to do OK. If there are 100 books in the home, the child is more likely to graduate from high school and go on to post-graduation degrees, such as college or skill training. BUT if there are 500 books in the house, it is the equivalence of the mom having a university degree. These children are likely to graduate from college and go on for further education. These children are unlikely to live in poverty!” Well, Kara and her team of enthusiastic volunteers and donors are working hard to put books into children’s hands, and doing a great job at it!! As an author and mom, I am honored to be a small part of helping make this project happen in Northern Michigan! Kudos to Kara Murphy, you are doing a great job! Keep up the strong work and keep making kids (and parents) smile! xoxo Kristy 

The organization has expanded from its original book bag project to include a summer literacy program, school vacation giveaways, Books on the Bus program, and special summer programming. For more information visit and to learn how you can help the cause visit: www.powerbookbags.orgemail: powerbookbags@gmail.com  PoWeR! Book Bags P.O. Box 533, Suttons Bay, MI 49682

PoWeR! Book Bags at a Glace

(info provided by PoWeR! Book Bags):

PoWeR! Book Bags is a Northern Lower Michigan non-profit that works to break the cycle of poverty through literacy. Two well-documented predictors of how well children will do later in life are: 

  • How many words a child has experienced before kindergarten, and
  • How many books a child owns.

PoWeR! Book Bags provides free books and literacy materials to children and families. This increases their access to literacy through: 

  • Their books, which increase the number of words in kids’ experience. 
  • Their book bag materials, which support literacy experiences by encouraging kids to play, write, and read, increasing their interactions with language and with each other.

PoWeR! Book Bags partners with local schools, food pantries, and social service distribution points already at work in the community, which means: 

  • PoWeR! Book Bags target kids where they already are, using structures already in place.
  • Every donation goes straight into literacy materials and programming for kids in the community where it’s donated. 

60,000 books distributed in 2019 = 110,000 books in 4 years

2016: 8,000+ 

2017: 17,000+

2018: 25,000+

2019: 60,000+

These books are all selected by the kids and families, 

making them more likely to be read over and over again!

9,500 book bags distributed in 2019 = 27,722 total

12,490 kids served in 2019

21 sites of assistance

17 schools for School Vacation Book GiveAways in 2019 

 

Picture provided by PoWeR! Book Bags

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Do small things with great love” 
                              -Mother Teresa

 

 

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