I recently found a source for buying books at a significantly reduced rate.
First Book is a nonprofit headquartered in Washington DC and to date it has distributed 90 million books to underserved populations in the United States and Canada.
So how does First Book work? It was pretty easy and didn't take a lot of time. I filled out the registration form and verified that Harman School is a Title I eligible school.
First Book offers a free book program whereby the library or school pays about $.35 per book to cover the cost of shipping. While this is a great option, First Book only offers these free books by the box which means you might receive many copies of the same title. Since we serve a pretty small school we don't need multiple copies of the same book.
The other option from First Book is substantially reduced prices for new books. I was a little hesitant of how worthwhile this program might be so about two weeks ago I put together an order of just over $100 ($100 is the minimum buy for a first time buyer). I sent in my check and waited patiently.
Because First Book doesn't ship to Post Office boxes I used my home address. Last night UPS delivered a very full box of brand new books! For about $100 we received 34 titles for kids from toddlers to high schoolers. I was especially thrilled to receive some awesome graphic novels that I think our kids will really enjoy.
I was also able to beef up our teen biography section a little bit and received biographies of Peyton Manning, Joseph Stalin, Satchel Paige, and Martha Stewart.
Overall I am very pleased with my first First Book experience. I estimate that the box of books I received would have easily cost $300 at full price, and the shipping was free. I will be back to order more titles another day. Thanks First Book!