Teachers add thousands of books to their libraries thanks to BookSmiles

Friday, August 30, 2019
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Larry Abrams decided one child without books is one too many. Community Journalist Matteo reports.

CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- Lindenwold High School teacher Larry Abrams was shocked to hear a mother say she does not read to her child because it wasn't part of her "culture."

He had no books to give her then. But now, he has thousands.

It's all thanks to BookSmiles, a project he founded to collect and distribute gently used books to under-serviced students in South Jersey. In the last three years, his team of teachers has harvested 150,000 books.

They reach out to other school districts, churches, synagogues, and scout troops for donations. They also have found success stocking their supply through word of mouth and social media.

To celebrate the grand opening, Abrams invited 100 teachers to choose up to 150 books of their liking from seemingly bottomless boxes of books. All it took was a $10 donation.

Now that the ribbon has been cut, the Book Bank will be open two days per week. Their doors are open Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. To learn more or get involved, visit their site.