Providing Teacher-Selected Supplemental Books to Southern Arizona Schools

Books for Classrooms began in 2017 when striking Arizona teachers told us that school funding in Arizona had been so reduced in the last decade that there were no longer books in many classrooms. Art, music, and libraries are woefully inadequate after ten years of severely reduced funding. Sadly, that lack of support for schools continues today.

A small group of retirees in Green Valley AZ came together, determined to provide tangible help to teachers by providing teacher selected books directly to classrooms with the support of administrators. For over a year, retired volunteer educators worked to discover and read high-quality, supplemental books to suggest to teachers.

Our focus was on recent small and large press offerings that encourage an understanding of diversity, peace, social justice and conflict resolution. Teachers asked that we include a category for environment. After reading many lists, blogs, searching websites and using our public library we have created a dynamic list of over 1,205 books in twelve categories of diversity for grades K through 12, plus recommended books for teachers. These books have each been evaluated by a retired educator as being appropriate for students in southern AZ at the grade levels we recommend. We update the list regularly as new books about diversity come into print and others go out of print.

It takes a lot of volunteers to deliver packages of books to teachers.