'A whole bus full of books' Local nonprofit gains new way to reach kids after donation

Posted at 11:13 AM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 12:13:22-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A local nonprofit will soon be reaching more parts of Davidson County, spreading the joy of reading for kids with a brand new bookmobile.

Book'em, a nonprofit based in Nashville focusing on children's literacy, donates more than 100,000 books a year to kids, primarily low-income families.

The organization has about 150 unique partners who help distribute books. Places like the health department, habitat for humanity or schools can request books for families they serve. Book'em Executive Director Melissa Spradlin said really anyone working with lower-income families can request them.

Spradlin said the governor's Early Literacy Foundation approached Book'em about its book bus program with the goal of bringing it to Davidson County. Book'em leaders agreed to do it, but they were left with the big question of how.

Parnassus Books, one of Book'em's partners, caught wind of their hunt for a bus and donated theirs.

"Gosh, we're going to be able to go to them and take a whole bus full of books — all kinds of books that kids are gonna love. We can kind of curate what's on the bus based on the population of kids where we're going to see and the kids are going to have a great experience. I mean, how cool to be able to walk on a bus, look at all these great books and know that you can take books that you want to own that you don’t have to return," Spradlin said.

There are some things that need to get done for the bus to be ready, but the nonprofit is aiming to have the program running this summer.