Baltimore— The Maryland Book Bank (MBB), a Baltimore-based nonprofit dedicated to cultivating literacy in children from under-resourced neighborhoods, is helping teachers fill their classroom libraries amidst the back-to-school rush as many educators and children across Maryland return to in-person classroom instruction. Educators, children, and families have been streaming through the doors for the past month, picking out books and reveling in the joy of curating a classroom library after a long and difficult year.
During one busy Saturday, MBB Program Manager Kim Tabb remarked, “we have heard from many educators that students have experienced learning loss over the past year and that the ability to have a fully stocked classroom library can be the difference between a child excelling or falling even further behind. That is exactly why the resources we offer are so important.”
Educators are welcome to visit the Book Bank on select days during the week to browse and pick from the Book Bank’s huge selection of children’s books and a variety of membership options are available to fit everyone’s needs. The Book Bank posts updated hours on their website weekly. In addition, contactless pick-up options are available for a convenient and safe way to receive books.
“Our goal is to distribute over 400,000 books this year between our Book Bank distribution and expanded Story Kit program. That would put us on par with where we were prior to the pandemic and let us know that we have made a huge impact on educators and children this year,” said MBB Executive Director Mark Feiring about the Book Bank’s goals for the rest of the year.
The Maryland Book Bank distributes over 450,000 books a year to teachers; librarians; care-givers; and families throughout Maryland. It operates the book bank, a volunteer-organized collection of books open to the public, as well as the Ravens Bookmobile, a free mobile bookstore in partnership with the Baltimore Ravens that travels to local schools. In addition, the MBB operates a social enterprise program that sells adult fiction and nonfiction titles online in order to support its children’s program. Throughout the pandemic, the Book Bank has continued to provide resources for children and educators through their Story Kit and Educator Box programs.