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Kids Need Books

Kids Need Books (KNB) hands out new and gently used childrens books to Whatcom County families. It was founded in the summer of 2016 to fight the “summer slide” — the academic decline commonly experienced by low-income students during their time away from school and books. We soon discovered that local families were hungry for quality reading material and the program evolved into a year-round effort that has distributed over 100,000 books through food banks, migrant worker camps, literacy fairs, and other sites.

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About 80% of our books are donated by individual donors, local groups and businesses, and generous congregations within Interfaith Coalition. We also accept monetary donations to purchase specific types of books, such as those written in Russian or Spanish. If you would like to donate to Kids Need Books, write “KNB” in the comment field of your donation.

Stories of children impacted by Kids Need Books:

The twelve-year-old girl is the oldest of four children raised by a single parent father. The family has lived in a truck and moved from place to place. Now they are staying with friends until Dad can find work. I tell the girl to take as many books as she wants as I don’t know when she’ll be back. She picks up five thick novels. “These won’t take long to read,” she says with a grin.

A Somali family studies the book selection. The father picks out a dictionary. His pregnant wife wears a hijab and a flowing dress and selects Goodnight Moon and a set of vocabulary flashcards. Her high school-aged daughter asks for Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series and she is in luck and walks away with a boxed set.

A young boy—not yet in first grade—searches for a beginning reader and gets a book about Batman. He shouts to his friends, and races to the playground holding the book above his head.

A Latina woman selects a bilingual book about animals with fuzzy textures. She wipes away a tear, “Now I have a baby gift for my niece!”

A Russian-speaking woman gets books for her six children. A moment later she brings me a cup of coffee. There are so many ways to say Thank You and this is hers.