In a recent conversation with a dear soul who is planning a major back to school event for hundreds of children, that question came up. Would it be OK, if? If we modified the Books for the Border and Beyond design for bookcases? The answer was YES, of course. In this case, a crate from Home Depot will be used to get books to children in a way that provides some permanent storage.

The original design was developed to address the need to give books a secure place in homes that sometimes lack solid floors – in these United States. I’ve been in homes in Texas along the border with Mexico that have dirt floors. So a bookcase provides some security for treasured books – including school texts – in such locations.

colonia family with books

In the six years since the first bookcases were shared with families in Eagle Pass, more than three thousand families have received beginning home libraries. The bookcases have differed in construction methods; some have actually been bookshelves. One junior high principal recently suggested using discarded pickle buckets as homes for books. Imagine the possibilities…

 pickle bucket

The point is to fit the container to the need. On the list of 50 Ways Your Church Can Bless Your Community Through Literacy, #11 is Adapt the family reading fair concept in other settings where families lack books at home. That certainly includes adapting the container.

One suggestion: As much as possible include the families who will take the container home in the decoration (and/or manufacture) of the bookcase, bookshelf, or pickle bucket. This personalizes the home library and adds an element of fun to the family reading fair. See other suggestions on the Literacy Connexus website for hosting a family reading fair.

And I still love the bookcases…

Bookcase rowsig