Books and Beyond, formed in 2021, is the newest philanthropic program of Assistance League of Bellingham serving infant through 12th grade. The purpose of this program is to coordinate with local school districts as well as other local nonprofits for the promotion of literacy programs. The program is divided into three segments; some members tutor children in the classroom (on hold because of Covid), another group works with the distribution of used children’s books that are donated to the chapter and finally the committee works together to determine how to buy new books for other nonprofits and for the classroom or library of public schools within Whatcom County.
Volunteers in the classroom look forward to helping students develop better reading skills. Members working with the used children’s books coordinate their efforts with other local nonprofits for distribution of books to Whatcom County disadvantaged families in migrant worker camps, local food banks and school literacy festivals. Purchasing of new books for classrooms or school libraries is determined by need and the Niche Report.
The focus of Books and Beyond’s newest partnership with another nonprofit, Lydia Place, is to provide new books for children 0-kindergarten. Under their Parent Support Program, the certified parent educator visits the family twice a month and brings a new children’s book with them. Assistance League will be purchasing several hundred new books each year for Lydia Place.
Books and Beyond believes it is important to introduce books to children at a young age and to help them build their own personal library that will continue throughout their life.