Junior League of Martin County Helps New Teachers

Book Drive 1 (1)]

Martin County – Got children’s books?  The Junior League of Martin County partnered with the Martin County School District in efforts to assist new teachers teaching grades K-7 with their classroom libraries.  The League’s Books for Kids Project began in late July and started with the adoption of five elementary school teachers.  The League plans on adopting more schools and teachers in efforts to fill classrooms with books.

When a new teacher is fresh out of college, he or she doesn’t always have the necessary resources or books to set up an adequate classroom library.  Teachers need a variety of books in genres including wordless picture books, big books, chapter books, graphic novels, series books, hardcover books and paperbacks.

“In order to support the work with balanced literacy, it’s essential for new teachers to have a full and rich library to help support student literacy,” said Mary White, ‎Director of Elementary Programs and School Improvement, Martin County School District.

Experts claim a classroom library should have at least 20 books per student, so a typical class would have a classroom library of close to 500 books.  The books contained within the library can be of varying complexity, including predictable easy-to-read books, leveled books, challenging books, and books for independent reading.  The Junior League of Martin County wants to make sure that new teachers have the minimum of 500 books per classroom and hope to exceed that number. Donors can contact Leslie Haviland, JLMC Cares Community Chair, for a pick up at (772) 485-7169 or donate books at Martin County Extended Day locations in each elementary school.  In addition, there is a book donation box at Zweben Law firm on Colorado Avenue, in Stuart.

“Tara Zweben of Zweben Law immediately contacted me when she saw what we were doing via Facebook.  She set up a drive box at her office and I hope other local businesses and civic organizations will do the same,” said Leslie Haviland, JLMC Community Chairperson.

The League has collected books at the weekly Food Truck Invasion held at Memorial Park in Stuart, written grants to Firstbook.org, contacted friends and family as well as contacted local thrift stores to obtain books. The League also partnered with Barnes & Noble for a drive event Aug. 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Jensen Beach store.  Donors can drop off gently used or new books and participate in reading and craft activities for children at the Barnes & Noble Event.  The Barnes & Noble Jensen Beach location is donating part of the store’s proceeds to the League to purchase wish list items for the classrooms.

The drive will continue throughout the school year.  For more information about the JLMC Cares Books for Kids Project contact Leslie Haviland at (772) 485-7169 or lesliehaviland13@gmail.com.


About The Junior League of Martin County

The Junior League of Martin County (JLMC) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.  To learn more, visit https://www.JLMCFlorida.org or join us on Facebook at https://www.Facebook.com/JuniorLeagueMC. 

Photo Ids:        Photo Credit: Leslie Haviland

Book Drive 1:  Brandi Hammon, a 1st grade teacher reviewing some of the books donated by the Junior

League of Martin County.

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