Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Feeling vaguely guilty

We live in a poor rural county. Studies show that your poor rural areas, or maybe just poor areas in general, are less likely to have books in the home and less likely to encourage reading in children. Schools obviously want to combat this, especially at the preschool & kindergarten level. The kids bring a book home from the school library every day, this month is 2 at a time for a special reading program, and are often given books by the local Literacy Council, the PTO and Scholastic Books(the schools earn points to get books to give away or keep in their library).

Mayhem has been given 5 since the beginning of the year. He’s being given another one today (Goldilocks)

This is where the guilt comes in.

Mayhem doesn’t need those books. In that same space of time the boys have checked out 17 books from the county library, in addition to the 4-5 a week from the school library and I have bought/traded for 8 more. The boys have 6 shelves stuffed with their books in the house, plus the library basket. Books are the one thing I buy without much question. They have their own line item in the budget. My children have always had access to books & always will. I love to read. I spend part of every day reading to them or encouraging them to read on their own.

I feel like those 5 books ought to go to the kids who need them, the ones who don’t have shelves of books in their rooms and regular library trips. At the rate they are handing out books, between them Havoc & Mayhem will have been given enough books to account for an entire class. 18-21 more kids could have gotten a book or a second book if mine didn’t get one.

Several times we already owned the book they were given, giving us 2 or 3 copies, if Havoc was also given one.

I know they can’t sort out who to give books to because people who don’t like to read would opt out & that would defeat the purpose and then you have the problem with kids wondering why some people got books & they didn’t, so this is probably the best way of reaching the most kids.

But I still feel vaguely guilty that I am being given a resource that other people need more than I do. I’m going to find out at the parent teacher conferences where I can donate some of these books, at least the duplicates & the ones the boys read once & never looked at again.


Too Many Hats said...

Oh good, I was going to suggest donating them somewhere - back to the school library, a women & children's shelter, even the local library, but I am sure the school would have some good ideas for you.

Wookies Mama said...

That would be great for you to donate them. Sounds like they have a really nice program going on. I'm sure it comes in handy for some.

We are like you, books galore!

Jenni Jiggety said...

Donating them is a wonderful idea!

Creative Junkie said...

Definitely donate them!

I agree, books are something I usually don't quibble about when it comes to the kids asking for something.

Jodith said...

If there's a domestic abuse shelter in your area, I'd recommend donating to them. Abused women and their children often escape with only the clothes on their back. The shelters are often on the lookout for toys and books for kids as well as clothing. Can you imagine what a comfort it would be to a child to find her favorite book on the shelf in the shelter?

Aunt Becky said...

I'd donate them too. And I understand the guilt feeling, I have a public health nurse coming to assess Amelia (her condition got flagged by the county) and I feel kinda squiggly using county money when I could afford a nurse to come and assess her.