Annual Report 2020

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Chapter One · CEO Letter

Our mission is to engage every child in book choice and ownership cultivating literacy-rich communities.  Now more than ever, fulfilling that mission is key to Book Trust students discovering the joy and power of reading.  2020 was an unprecedented year of challenge, resilience, and reflection.  It required extraordinary contributions from communities, schools, teachers, students, and families.

Meeting this moment in order to continue providing access to books, despite school closures across the country, focused our work as an equity game changer. Twenty years ago, our founder Adrienne Schatz, launched Book Trust with the commitment that our students would have the opportunity to choose and own books from Scholastic Book Clubs every month of the school year.  Culminating in home libraries to be shared with family, our simple yet impactful program served 57,704 students and 2,478 teachers in 20 States.  As children learn to value reading and fall in love with books, they make the successful and critical transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Multi-year exposure to the Book Trust program shows students’ reading levels continue to improve, further motivating them to succeed.

In these pages, we celebrate our partners and honor donors who make our work possible – cultivating a culture of literacy in both the classroom and the living room.  Broadening our impact and continuing to move towards long-term strategic goals is our immediate focus for the future.  With your investment in literacy and our community of Book Trust students and teachers - together we can ensure all children discover the joy and power of reading.

 

With gratitude,

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Kellie O'Keefe

PRESIDENT | CEO

Our Vision

Every child discovers the joy and power
of reading to create limitless possibilities.

Our Mission

Engaging every child in
book choice and ownership,
cultivating literacy-rich communities.

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Chapter Two · Impact

Our Reach:

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765,396

Books chosen & owned

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57,704

Students served this year

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2,478

Teachers engaged

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202

Schools served in 21 states

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Our Results:

89% of Book Trust students say that becoming a good reader is important or very important.

96% of Book Trust teachers deploy our family engagement strategies to help create a culture of literacy in the home.

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Book Trust teachers report that 67% of Book Trust students read at home.

Students dedicate 21% more time each week to reading while they are at home.

Access to books is a contributor to student success. Teachers noted a higher proportion of their students as proficient at their grade level by a significant margin as the year progressed.

Discovering the Joy and Power of Reading

Book Trust empowers students in Title I schools to choose and own books, sometimes for the first time in their lives. We know from research that choice and consistency are powerful tools that increase joy in reading, which improves motivation, reading skills, and outcomes.

During each month of the school year, students are provided Scholastic Book Clubs flyers and choose books at no cost to them. Teachers and students celebrate the arrival of book orders. Students read at school and at home, sharing with one another, engaging family members in reading, and building home libraries. As the program is implemented, teachers observe reluctant readers finding the joy in reading.

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Diverse Books Spark the Curiosity of Every Reader

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Each month, students scour through the Scholastic Book Clubs flyer, searching for books that spark their interests. They peruse titles available in both English and Spanish, a large selection of diverse books and classic favorites like Clifford the Big Red Dog. This year, top titles included Hidden Figures, the true story of four female African American mathematicians who broke the color barrier and made history, and ¡Di Hola!, a Spanish title about a young girl who learns about different languages and cultures from her neighbors. From astronauts to ninjas, Spanish titles to mindfulness exercises, students are selecting titles based on their interests and curiosity.

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Innovating to Create Consistent Access to Books

In 2020, remote learning challenged schools, students, and families. Even libraries, hubs for literacy and learning, were forced to shut their doors. While all Book Trust schools were closed for some period of time as well, we were determined to provide access to books so that students could continue to build their home libraries. This has been our mission for 20 years, but perhaps never more so than in 2020.

We rapidly pivoted our program, providing delivery options that worked for teachers and focused on family engagement to ensure support for a culture of literacy in the home.  For communities whose internet access and device availability made remote learning especially challenging, the continued presence of books at home was all the more important.

After schools shuttered, we quickly tested three different delivery models to ensure books continued to get into the hands of students. Across the country, our books were delivered to teacher and student homes, along with food distribution sites. We tested and collected data on the most effective models in each community to scale, as it became rapidly clear that remote learning would continue through the entire school year.

We also doubled down on parent engagement strategies, which included mobile-friendly bilingual resources to help families support their child's literacy journey. Monthly teacher communications were rooted in early literacy research that supports reading development.

In a time of uncertainty, we learned about the strength of our communities, students and teachers as well as the durability of our mission, and the flexibility of our model. Despite school closures and distance learning, we continue to fulfill our promise for every Book Trust student to discover the joy and power of reading to create limitless possibilities.

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Book Trust Communities

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Chapter Three · In Their Words

Stories from Teachers and Parents

April

April Hawkins

PRESIDENT | CEO

Garfield Elementary
Oakland Unified School District

Books are windows to make sense of the world around us as well as mirrors that help build our self identity, yet with both schools and libraries closed, my students have way less access to books this year compared to before. Book Trust ensures they are getting a few new books each month, books that will help them process who they are, help them to understand a world that is mostly shut down right now, and give them a chance to escape from the scary reality we are living through.

 

As a teacher that is hoping to not just teach my students what they need for this year but to instill a lifelong love of learning and knowledge seeking, growing their home library is one concrete way I can ensure they will leave my classroom headed down that path.

April

April Hawkins

PRESIDENT | CEO

Garfield Elementary
Oakland Unified School District

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Roshannie Anderson

PARENT

Mayport Elementary School
Florida

It is so important for our children to read about positive people in our community. Children also get to connect with other cultures through books and this helps them build positive friendships in their home and school community.

 

Reading allows our family a time to bond and connect. It allows a time to laugh, enjoy a book together, and build a stronger family relationship with the power of literacy.

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Elizabeth Soltys

KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

Crawford Elementary
Aurora Public Schools

I went to my students' houses after the stay at home order was lifted. We had a schedule and gave each child the opportunity to be outside to see us, celebrate graduating kindergarten, and receive their Book Trust books. My kids were so excited to get their books, to see us, and to celebrate! It was a magical day!

 

With their home libraries, students will become more independent in reading and will gain knowledge and skills by practicing. The majority of my students do not have the opportunity to get new books on their own. With the help of Book Trust, they are able to choose their own books and take home. These books grow their libraries and my kids have a huge sense of ownership over these.

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Elizabeth Soltys

KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

Crawford Elementary
Aurora Public Schools

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Rosa Stone

BOOK TRUST MANAGER

Lihkai Elementary
Maui Island Schools

Book Trust has given our students something to look forward to, a sense of normalcy during this uncertain time. With all that is lost this year, jobs, homes, belongings...our children still had their books. Lost time on their education, lots to catch up, but the yearning to learn to read comes from owning their own books and building their own library.

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Chapter Four · Supporter Stories

Working Together to Create
Limitless Possibilities

The seeds for Book Trust were planted twenty years ago. Our founder, Adrienne Schatz had the bold idea of ensuring all children have the opportunity to choose and own their very own books. Adrienne took this vision to Scholastic Book Clubs, and so began the journey of Book Trust. Thanks to the continued support and vision of the Serimus Foundation, the Schatz Family, and Scholastic Book Clubs, we have deep roots across the country and have expanded from serving 170 students in Colorado to serving 57,000 students across 21 states-from Hawaii to New York.

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Adrienne Schatz

FOUNDER

Book Trust has been a joy of my life from its beginning, and I'm so proud that what began as a hopeful idea to enable all students in my old elementary school to discover the joy of reading, grew to have impact I never first dreamed of. It's a wonder to see it embraced by Book Trust's incredible partners and donors, staff and leadership, boards and volunteers, hardworking teachers and school staff, and our children's families themselves -- all in support of children who've for two decades turned their delight in choosing and owning books into lifelong learning and increased opportunity. So many people brought Book Trust to life along with me -- with thanks to my family and the Serimus foundation (and very particularly my mom, a tireless program powerhouse!), and Scholastic; their Book Clubs leadership team have become friends as well as vital program allies. Look at how far we've come, everyone -- the hundreds of thousands of children our program has enriched, and the new places Book Trust will go in the future! It's been an amazing twenty years; here's to many, many more.

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Adrienne Schatz

FOUNDER

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Jill Schatz

PRESIDENT
SERIMUS FOUNDATION

Serimus Foundation was just testing its own wings, twenty years ago, as a brand new family foundation when Adrienne presented the idea for Book Trust to the rest of the family. That idea has taken us and the foundation on an incredible journey. We never could have imagined the lives that would be affected as a result, our own included. We became totally committed to helping see this vision become a reality.  Book Trust astonishes! We hear it from everyone who touches the program, but most importantly, the children. Through Book Trust, we see the promise that each book holds for a child! Each book is chosen to feed a curiosity, satisfy a longing for adventure, give comfort, or bring the absolute joy of reading through the words of a favorite author. And, with each book, the love of reading grows!  I treasure my own personal connection to Book Trust, and I am so grateful to all of the staff, donors, and supporters whom I’ve been able to work with these past 20 years. They have all enriched and made possible the story of Book Trust!

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Judy Newman

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENT
SCHOLASTIC BOOK CLUBS

Twenty years ago, Adrienne walked into my office and told me how devastated she was that every child in her own elementary school class didn't have the means to place a Scholastic book order. She decided to do something about it, and Book Trust was born. Every one of us at Scholastic Book Clubs is inspired by Adrienne's vision, and we have been honored to partner with Book Trust for the past two decades. We are so excited to see what the next 20 years will bring.

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Judy Newman

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENT
SCHOLASTIC BOOK CLUBS

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Chapter Five · Financials

Financials - Year Ending June 30, 2020

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Revenue & Support

$5,015,415

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Expenses

$4,162,136

  • Corporations  ·  $315,764

  • Individuals  ·  $957,759

  • Organizations  ·  $205,454

  • Foundations  ·  $2,158,992

  • Program Service Revenue  ·  $692,980

  • Events  ·  $196,995

  • In-Kind Contributions  ·  $477,131

  • Other  ·  $10,670

  • Program  ·  $3,667,928

  • Management & General  ·  $79,714

  • Fundraising  ·  $414,494

Net Assets Beginning of Year $1,700,969

Net Assets End of Year $2,554,248

Change in Net Assets $853,279

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Book Trust Schools:

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Chapter Six · Philanthropic Partners

Book Trust's philanthropic partners provide the resources needed to expand our reach, increase our impact, and support our students to discover the joy and power of reading.

DONORS

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Book Trust Board of Directors

Book Trust Advisory Boards

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Book Trust

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