How Great Books for Kids Came to Be

Jul 1, 2022 | Exciting News

I invite you to lean in for the story of how Great Books for Kids got its start and what we’ve been able to accomplish so far!

My name is Jen Tacbas, and I am a local mom and child literacy advocate, as well as the founder of Great Books for Kids, Inc.

How My Daughter Sparked a Mission

I was inspired to start a local child literacy mission nearly 3 years ago in the fall of 2019. My daughter came home from school one day with something puzzling on her mind. She told me several kids in her reading class mentioned they didn’t have a lot of books in their homes. I reached out to her teacher, and she confirmed this was indeed true. There are many low income / high poverty areas in southeast Georgia, and not all families have the ability to purchase books for their children. Let’s be honest – books can be expensive!

Immediately, I began purchasing one book every month for my daughter’s 15 classmates. The following fall in 2020, I expanded my mission to provide one book a month for every child in her grade. And by winter 2021, I expanded my mission, again, to include one book each month for all the children in TWO grades. By the end of the 2020-2021 school year, with the support of family and friends, I was able to donate 1042 books valued at $6828 to the 1st and 2nd graders at our local school for their homes!! It was a huge accomplishment…and I knew I could and wanted to do even more!

In April 2021, I felt a strong calling GO BIG with my child literacy mission, and my nonprofit, Great Books for Kids, Inc., was born! The following month, I applied for my 501c3 tax exempt charity status, and the application was approved in August 2021, just in time for the start of the new school year.

The Impact of Our First Year as a Nonprofit

I am very proud to report that during our first school year as a nonprofit, we were able to expand our reach from 100 children to 500 children! Each of these children received several books during the year with the total value of over $16,700 worth of books! Thank you to everyone who has supported Great Books for Kids this year, including several businesses:

  • Dentistry by Angela Britt and Sayde Southern
  • I-95 Toyota
  • Whatley Pediatric Dentistry
  • Pamela Dixon Medicare Solutions

We also were blessed to receive a generous grant from the Okefenoke REMC Foundation, who chose to fund our proposed project titled “Reading is Electric!” 300 children in 2 Camden County elementary schools received a high-quality age-appropriate book that explains how electricity impacts our daily lives.

What’s Next for Great Books for Kids

I’m ready to take this child literacy mission to the next level! My goals for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year are to…

  • TRIPLE the number of books gifted
  • Increase the number of children we serve

It is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to achieving these goals, but achieving these goals will lead to…

  • Increased age-appropriate book in each child’s home
  • Increased interest in reading / books
  • Improved possibility of increased reading scores
  • Improved possibility of increased overall success in academics

With amazing, life-improving impacts like these, how can we not do everything possible to be successful in our mission and our goals for the year?

Two Ways You Can Help

This mission takes a village to succeed, and we can achieve incredible things when we work together! Here are two ways you can help support Great Books for Kids…

Make a Monetary Donation – Your funds will be used to purchase the high-quality books gifted directly to elementary-aged children in southeast Georgia, as well as the minimal supplies we utilize (labels for inside the books & printer ink) and will ensure our mission continues to move forward! Click here to donate!

Purchase Books for Your Own Readers – Are you interested high-quality books for the readers in your own family, your classroom, or to give as gifts at showers and birthdays? Up to 25% of your purchase total will be donated to Great Books for Kids!

  • 25% donation – Usborne Books
  • 10% donation – Bookshop

A Heart-felt Thank You!

I’m so glad you are here and am grateful for your support! When I think about how this mission is helping to improve the literacy and lives of our local kids, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Together, we are making a difference…one book at a time!

~ Jen Tacbas

Have a question or an idea about supporting Great Books for Kids? I invite you to reach out to me anytime at greatbooksforkidsinc@gmail.com.

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