We feel ALL children should have access to books. With more than half of Guilford County School students starting Kindergarten without the literacy skills they need to succeed, Book Beginnings places bookshelves in strategic locations across Guilford County distributing thousands of free books to encourage a love of reading. The goals of the program include book OWNERSHIP and book ABUNDANCE.

The Need
  • A study from New York University examining book deserts found that many children living in high-poverty areas had limited or even no access to children’s books in their neighborhoods.
  • “The less access students have to books, the less able they are to read,”  David Quinn, assistant professor of education at the University of Southern California
Our Approach
  • In partnership with Ready for School, Ready for Life, BackPack Beginnings operates Book Beginnings, a new and used book acquisition and distribution strategy to enrich the lives of local families.
  • We place our bookshelves in Guilford County locations serving primarily children facing high barriers.


High Point Opportunity Center
Pediatrics of Quaker Lane
Warnersville Rec Center
WIC Greensboro Office
WIC High Point Office


Donate new or gently used children’s board books, picture books, easy readers, chapter books and novels.  Other languages welcomed.

How to Help

Host a book drive
Create a book kit
Get a bookshelf for your organization
Deliver books to our locations

Build a shelf

See our instructions for building a book shelf.

Academically, children growing up in homes without books are on average three years behind children in homes with lots of books, even when controlled for other key factors such as income and parents’ education.  -M.D.R. Evans