Author Archives: Samantha McGinnis

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For Educators, Impact Stories

Your Students Can Make a Difference in Their Communities

Use these great books to get your students them thinking about how they can make a difference in their communities. These activities, paired with stories, help students use their own skills and passion to take action. For more tips and activities to use with the books below,… Read More
Focus on First Book, Impact Stories

A Thank You Note from Camila

Every week we receive dozens of thank you notes from schools and programs just like this one. Kids thank us for books they don’t want to put down, books that help them study and succeed, books they wouldn’t otherwise have. The book she received is turning her into an enthusiastic… Read More
Our Bookshelf

Monthly Book List: Our Five Favorite Books for April

Our favorite books for April teach some important lessons! One celebrates the human body and diversity, while others teach kindness and the keys to a true friendship. You’ll find a story that will help foster kids’ sense of empathy and understanding and an award-winning novel that tackles the topics of… Read More
For Educators, Our Bookshelf

Teaching Good Character with Books

Stories can help children to develop into responsible, caring and contributing citizens. Use the activities for each book below to teach good character traits like kindness, self-control and perseverance to your students. To view all the books chosen and to see all the tips and activities suggested for each… Read More
Impact Stories

Books Gave Him A Sense of Home – Even When He Didn’t Have One

Today’s guess blogger is Melissa Spradlin, Executive Director of Book’em in Nashville, TN. I want to tell you about Ben. From our first meeting, Ben had an extraordinary connection with books. Every time we met to read together, he chose one to keep. He was exceptionally grateful for each… Read More
Impact Stories

How Arts & Crafts Created a Space to Talk and Heal

Today’s guest blogger is Emily Townsend, an Elementary School Counselor at Lowrie Primary School in Wilsonville, Oregon. Last year I worked daily with a fourth grade student whose father passed away right before Christmas break. He grieved mostly internally, and became increasingly distant, disengaged, and behind in school. After… Read More
For Educators, Our Bookshelf

Books that Teach Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration

Creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration are critical skills for children to learn so they can succeed in today’s world. Use the books below and the guided questions to teach these concepts found in each story. You’ll find a well-known fable told from another culture’s perspective, an inspiring tale… Read More
Reading at the library/First Book.
Focus on First Book, For Educators, Impact Stories

Kids Are Behind on This Key Indicator of Success

What if your dreams were out of reach before you could even dream them? For 80% of fourth graders who do not read proficiently, this could be the case. A child’s ability to read in fourth grade is a key indicator to their future success. From their academic achievement… Read More
For Educators

Activities to Spark Conversation Between Adults and Children

Books are great tools for sparking conversation between adults and children. They can inspire conversation and activities around a diverse range of topics, including feelings, imagination and different family structures. These conversations can help you share lessons with students and can deepen bonds between family members. Use the books and… Read More
Impact Stories

An Educator’s Campaign to Revitalize Her Library

When Vanessa Cadena entered the library at Bret Harte Middle School this school year, she knew she had a big job ahead of her. It was Vanessa’s first year at the school and the library had not been updated in almost twenty years. Full of damaged and outdated… Read More