Goodwill to give teachers 40,000 free books  to support critical need in Washington Schools


To address the need for age appropriate books in elementary and middle schools in southwest Washington, Goodwill hopes to give approximately 1,000 teachers and educators 40,000 free books at four Kent, Tacoma, Olympia and Selah thrift stores on Saturday, Aug 25. Books will be available while supplies last. The increase in books and distribution sites this year (40,000 vs. 35,000) is thanks in part to a donation of additional books from the Fife School District.

Aug 25 store locations:

  • Goodwill Tacoma Outlet store, 3120 S. Pine St.
  • Goodwill Olympia Outlet store, 4014 Martin Way E.
  • Goodwill Kent Outlet store, 315 Washington Ave. S.
  • Selah Store, 503 S. 1 st  St.

“Helping people gain the skills and education they need for employment starts at the very beginning with our kids,” said Lori Forte Harnick, President and CEO of Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region. “Our Goodwill team is thrilled to have the opportunity to donate 40,000 books to teachers and their students across our community.”

The free books for educators will be available Saturday, Aug. 25, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Goodwill will offer an assortment of children’s books, from early learning picture books to readers, chapter books, craft/hobby, educational and teen and young adult series for older students. Goodwill’s annual book intake from 40 donation sites and the Fife School District donation are sufficient to allow for 40,000 high quality books to be donated to the cause.

“Being active with parent boards at my daughter’s schools, I’ve seen firsthand the tremendous need for more books and supplies,” said Jennifer Kupka, vice president of the Columbia Junior High Boosters Program. “Our teachers spend so much of their own money for their classrooms and many students cannot afford even the basics. While parent groups work hard to raise money to support reading programs, there is still a great need, especially in lower income districts.”

Teachers and educators simply furnish proof of their occupation with their school ID or equivalent to take up to 50 books each back to their school. Teachers will also receive 30 student coupons good for an additional free book per student at all regional Goodwill stores to use as classroom incentives. In addition, each educator will receive a 25% off coupon to
shop at any Goodwill store within GORR’s 15 county region. Numerous problems contribute to why many elementary school students struggle with reading: lack of classroom resources such as age-appropriate reading books; little-to-no print resources available in the home; stressed home environments that prevent or eliminate family reading; lack of
access to quality child care and pre-K opportunities; class sizes that make it difficult to give special help; and other health and learning issues, from poor nutrition to asthma to dyslexia.

Goodwill also features a Kids Club online where members can choose one free book with a parent store visit:

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