After the BookStorm

The BookStorm Program is powered by:

And YOU!


If you've received a BookStorm Award and have a success story, tell us here:

  • Rikki Seleen
    commented 2023-01-06 15:24:37 -0700
    I was fortunate to have secured this grant for our cozy, Title 1 campus. Our K-4 students were thrilled to be able to shop around for a curated stack of books at their reading level. The books were highly desirable and in such good shape. They were eager to take them home and read their very own books! My biggest wish is that these books propel their love for reading forward. We appreciate the care and thought that goes into this program. Our intervention team of three went together to choose highly individualized books for our student population. The process was so enjoyable and easy. A big thank you to the donors, volunteers, and the rest of the Friends of Phoenix Public Library staff for making this possible for so many.

    With gratitude,

    Rikki Seleen, Reading Interventionist at Midtown Primary School
  • Christina Wendelschafer
    commented 2019-02-26 12:53:55 -0700
    Mountain Shadows Elementary was one of the lucky schools to be chosen for the Book Storm Award. We were able to add hundreds of title to our school and classroom libraries that we would have had to save funds for years to pay for. We are so appreciative that the public libraries donate to this cause and for the 1000’s of hours that are donated in the warehouse! Thank you all!! One libraries trash is another libraries treasure!!!
  • Vickie Dean
    commented 2018-12-04 17:10:14 -0700
    I am a volunteer in the Kindergarten classes at Washington Elementary. Every week I read to the students and every time I ask them what I want them to do every night. Their answer is READ (very loud and boisterous)! I then volunteer in that classroom for 2-3 hours doing whatever the teacher needs. As I work one on one with the students so many times they will confide in me that they don’t have books at home to read. This school is Title I, in a very transient neighborhood. Over half the students that begin the school year will not finish the year at that school. The school does not allow Kindergarteners to take library books home because the return rate is so low. They do have little paper booklets that go home with the children but it is just not the same as a real book. Thank you Friends of the Phoenix Library for allowing me to choose a book for every Kindergarten child. The children were so surprised and excited that the book was theirs to take home and keep forever. One small girl shared that she was going to keep her book in her box with the clothes and plastic ring her brother gave her before she went to the group home. Books open our world to infinite possibilities, your donation makes a difference!
  • Katie Lewis
    commented 2018-04-06 11:13:32 -0700
    The Bookstorm award has made such a significant impact to our students! Our school hosts and annual Title 1 night, and each year we strive to give at least one book to our students during this festive event. Because of the Bookstorm award, we were able to give away so many books. I often hear of students who do not have access to books in their own homes, and this ability to “own” their own book is a source of pride and joy for many of our students and families. I cannot thank the Friends of The Phoenix Public Library and the Bookstorm Award enough for their contribution to lifelong literacy across my school and across this state. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and from all the students at Richard E. Miller, Katie Lewis- Reading Specialist
  • Nery Cabrera
    commented 2018-01-09 10:49:38 -0700
    I work in Simpson School Elementary in Phoenix, Az.

    Our school is from 4th thru 8th grade level.

    With this great opportunity that BookStorm Award gave us, I was able to select 1000 books

    on a variety of topics, at different levels to give a boost to our library.

    We this update I was thrilled to see students faces trying to decide which book to get.

    The students were beyond excited to start checking out the books!!

    Our mission is to keep encouraging students to become lifelong readers.

    It made a big difference to our library.

    A special thank you to Karina for taking the time to go with me and picking the books.

    Once again thank you for your generosity… : )
  • Laura Davtian
    commented 2017-11-01 10:11:23 -0700
    I can’t tell how special this was for our school. It meant so much and just seeing how excited the kids are checking out new books means everything. With your help I was able to update our little library and bring some new life into our reading area. I appreciate this opportunity so much.
  • Jessica Button
    commented 2017-09-10 14:10:45 -0700
    I am a reading interventionist at a Title I school in central Phoenix. I work with students who often do not like to read, because they don’t feel successful at reading. They also often struggle to find books that interest them, and are hesitant to read. I was thrilled to be able to increase my classroom library by 1,000 books, and even more thrilled when I saw my students’ reaction to the books. Every single one of the 72 students I work with daily found a book they want to read. Since I work with so many students and a key component of our program is independent reading, I do not allow the books to leave the classroom. I have seen a marked increase in student interest in independent reading, and almost daily now when I see the kids on campus, they tell me they cannot wait to come to class to read their book! I thank you greatly for helping me share the joy of reading with my students.
  • Leon Shinsky
    commented 2016-10-19 13:23:41 -0700
    THANK YOU BookStorm and Friends of the Phoenix Public Library!!!!! Your generosity is overwhelming and greatly appreciated!! FIVE HUNDRED books went directly to our Title I school library. A HUGE THANK YOU to all the staff that helped me with my selections!!! YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE IN CHILDREN’S LIVES!!!!!!
  • Danielle RYlak
    commented 2016-09-17 17:18:23 -0700
    Just wanted to thank BookStorm and Friends of the Phoenix Public Library for your wonderful donation of children’s books. Our first graders absolutely loved getting the books to read during reading time, and to take home and read with their families. We are excited about the Spanish books too, because the children can read them with their families in their home language!

    With deep appreciation for fostering literacy in our community,

    Alta E. Butler Elementary School
  • Rebecca Urias
    commented 2016-09-16 12:49:17 -0700
    Thank you so much for selecting us to be a recipient of the Bookstorm award. Most of our families do not have home libraries, the children were excited to receive a book to keep forever. We were lucky enough to have our local librarians help distribute the books to the children and give out over 100 Phoenix Public library cards. You help make our Harry Potter Day a success event to promote summer reading. We hope to have you back again this year.


    Mrs. Urias @ Lowell School
  • Elvia Martin Del Campo
    commented 2016-07-29 13:32:03 -0700
    I picked books for students k-3 grade, I cleaned and set up the books in a classroom kind like they do it when there’s a book fair. I told the teachers to go in one class at a time, when the students were in there looking they thought they needed to pay ! When they were told they could pick up a book , any book, and take it home, you should’ve seen their faces, they keep asking, can I take it home! I felt tears coming down😅 Thank you so much! Give a child a book and you’ll never know what difference you’ll make on that child’s future.

    On behalf of Gateway School and our wonderful students,

    Thank you Phoenix library!!!!
  • Mark Povich
    commented 2016-07-29 13:14:19 -0700
    What began as a simple completion and collaboration of (8) Bookstorm Award Grant application completions turned into a (3) day- 1,000+ mile book placement endeavor. To pull this off, Wilson Walz and I made (3) Roundtrips from “Friends” to Ganado,AZ" my southern-most school site on Navajo to get the books closer to my home base. Over these next 2 weeks, I will now be able to successfully distribute these 32 box-1,000 books awards to my (8) receiving schools. This could not have happened without the many “Sorters,Boxers,Pallet Stackers and Wrappers” as well as the Forklift operation of Greg and Michael to get these pallets onto the truck bed and flatbed 3 consecutive days correctly and efficiently. Then to have Wilson Walz helping with the entire communication, driving, loading and unloading, navigating and support made the collection of 8,000 books in (3)16+ hour day’s possible. I will now be able to successfully get these books out to the schools and communities, and work with them to effectively introduce these books into their schedules. I hope this is the beginning of a long-term friendship to empower and put books into the many children across the Navajo Nation. Thank you also to Elyse for your assistance in keeping me in the loop throughout the entire process, Ganado School District for allowing me to temporarily store these books and my Director Dr. Linda Coy for making me aware of this opportunity to further support my Dineh’ School Sites.

    Sincerely, Mark Povich 3 Rivers Ed Regional Coordinator
  • Nubia Ruiz
    commented 2016-07-28 10:49:59 -0700
    Sun Valley Charter School received 1,000 books this Spring and we are more than happy to have a plethora of books in our library that will allow our students to broaden their reading skills and their love for reading. We are now able to have a “reference” section in our library, which DID NOT exist before thanks to the reference material we picked out such as; animals books, state books, and more. These reference books give our students the opportunity to engage in research projects and write meaningful essay’s with relevant information gathered not only from the internet, but from real books! Our students are excited and eager to use the “reference” books that we were able to obtain. Thank you so much!
  • Laurie Blackwell
    commented 2016-05-18 08:54:23 -0700
    Capitol Elementary School in downtown Phoenix received 700 books from the BookStorm Award in March. We sorted and stored these books until this week, the last full one before summer break, and now we have created a book “store” where each student here can come “shop” for his/her very own book. Our mission is to encourage students to become lifelong readers who read for pleasure, not just at school, and the BookStorm award helped us convey this message in a hands-on manner. The reaction from our students when they chose their books was priceless: “We really get to keep this book?!!!” “There is no way I can make a choice with so many good books!” “This is my best day ever!” There have been hundreds of “Thank yous” and a few reactions like squeals and jumping up and down – I wish the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library could have witnessed these. :-) A huge thank-you from us here at Capitol Elementary to you for helping us give our students these opportunities for full and happy futures.
  • Francine Campagna
    commented 2016-05-16 09:39:37 -0700
    Hi Bookstorm! I am a reading specialist at a Title I school. We received a donation of 1000 books for our first-ever end-of-year book give away, plus additional books for many teachers and our school library. I specifically chose some adult titles for our first-ever adult book giveaway, which happened last week at our Title I Literacy Family night event. The students and parents LOVED the books and everybody went home happy! We will distribute the rest of the student books the last day of school. We are so sincerely grateful for this opportunity, thank you once again.
  • Donna Krivan
    commented 2016-05-10 09:25:40 -0700
    I was able to get a 1000 library book donation for the Cactus View Elementary Library. I choose high quality library bound books that are current, and in good shape. Public School libraries are hard pressed to get funding for library books these day. What a fantastic program “Friends of the Public Library” has put together. Most people probably don’t realize they are a “non-profit” set up to take donations form around the country, and redistribute them where they are most needed. I visited the warehouse two different days, with a library loving friend, and we were like kids, discovering treasures among the shelves. Libraries and private donators give our students the opportunity to choose popular fiction titles, folk tales, and non-fiction they find interesting. Having current titles and variety is the only way we can build that love of reading in children! Thank You!
  • Allison Barbor
    commented 2016-05-06 11:24:50 -0700
    My Assistant Principal and myself enjoyed going through the books and picking out 1,000 books for our school. We were able to give every student in our school two books. The students were thrilled! We received many hugs and thank you’s from the students as they picked out books. The students sat down and began reading the books right away. It made me smile! The students could not believe they were able to take them home and keep them. It was a fantastic day! It was really nice of the Phoenix Library to allow us to give books to our students. Thank you!
  • Nicole Speece
    commented 2016-05-05 14:06:36 -0700
    I’m a kindergarten teacher at a Title I school in North Phoenix. My class was awarded 400 books! My students were beyond excited to hear that we had so many books, many of which they are able to read because they are the easy readers. As a teacher, I often have to reach into my own pockets to provide for the needs of my classroom. It was such a BLESSING to be awarded these wonderful books. Thank you sooooo much to the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library!!!

    “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” –Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
  • Sandra Matadamas
    commented 2016-05-05 08:36:11 -0700
    I was able to get almost 600 books for my first grade classroom. My students were so AMAZED and EXCITED to see boxes overflowing with books. They started going through them and picking out their favorite books and put them in their book box. They use their book box daily when they read independently and read to a partner. I am so thankful for these books. They will help my students become better readers and make their love of books and reading grow!!! Thank you so much!
  • Eva Linderman
    commented 2016-05-05 08:11:37 -0700
    I am a first grade teacher at a public school in Phoenix. I was able to receive 200 free books for my classroom! The entire process from applying for the books to picking them out and taking them to school was so easy. I was able to choose from so many high quality literature books and what I call first grade favorites. My students are so excited to read all of the new books and it is definitely encouraging reading in my classroom! Thank you so much Friends of the Phoenix Public Library!
  • Sarah Stevenson
    commented 2016-05-04 12:40:36 -0700
    I work in a Title I school in sunny Glendale, Arizona. I teach between 120-160 eighth graders each year, and approximately 80% of my students start the year reading below grade level. By the time they enter my room, many of them loathe reading, and will do anything they can to get out of it. To combat this, I have worked with my fellow teachers to acquire high interest novels at a variety of levels to hook their interest and engage them in reading. Students check out books year round, and with such frequent usage, books start falling apart quickly, and are liable to go missing. Enter the BookStorm Award. With this award, I was able to select over 400 books on a variety of topics, at all levels to boost our classroom library. I wish you could have seen students’ faces as they helped me unpack a whole library. They were begging to check out books, even before they had been catalogued into our library. Thank you so much for your help in turning reluctant readers into lifelong learners!
  • Susan Lentz
    commented 2016-05-04 11:09:22 -0700
    My students have been absolutely thrilled with the new books! It was as if they were in a candy store as they browsed through deciding which one they wanted me to read! I work with special education students, and it was so much fun to listen to them describe the pictures, and predict what was going to happen. Many of the books that I chose were about animals, and they particularly liked seeing the colorful pictures and discovering their habitats, especially where they live and what they eat. Many of my students live in trailers or apartments, and some are homeless, sharing homes with family members, so they often don’t get the opportunity to have books at home. Also, a few of the students live in emergency shelters, due to their parents being arrested, the children neglected, or abused. They were very touched by the books that you offered, because they could relate to other children with similar stories. I am extremely grateful for your beautiful donation, and hope to share the joy that these books bring for many years to come. We have grateful hearts.
  • Kristy Pownall
    commented 2016-05-04 10:36:50 -0700
    I was awarded books for my classroom and the help and support of this program is breathtaking! The variety of books is amazing. The students get to read about topics they are interested in thanks to this program when otherwise they may not have had that “aha” moment when reading! Reading is so important and getting books into the hands of these students is so nice. Our future will know more than just computers and video games, thanks to this program!!! My classroom has truly been blessed.
  • Nubia Ruiz
    commented 2016-05-04 10:32:05 -0700
    When I told my students that we were awarded the 1,000 books I had applied for they were so joyous some of them cried. I work for a very small charter school with about 330 students. Our library is so small that our students read the same books more than twice. My students as well as the rest of the school was very excited because now, thanks to the books we received, are able to set a new section in our library for “reference” books such as state books, president books, and animal books. We love to teach our students how to research and create presentations with the information researched. Due to our school having these new set of books, the research projects our students complete will be full of great information that they were able to get not only from he internet but from real life books. This is a great experience for our students and they are more than excited for all of the upcoming research they have to do with all of the awesome books we received. Our library will eventually look great once we are able to get more bookshelves for our new books from Friends of the Phoenix Public Library and Better World Books. Sun Valley Charter School, my students, and I, Mrs. Ruiz thank you so very much as you had made a huge impact in our school’s library and students future.
  • Rosanna Westby
    commented 2016-04-03 16:44:38 -0700
    So grateful for the $1000 library book donation to the students of Eagle Ridge Elementary School. The library bound books chosen will last for years to come and hold up well to the circulation demands of an elementary school library. With no dedicated funding for library books and without the generosity of our PTSA parent group, and FPPL/BWB’s, our students wouldn’t have the opportunity to read newer, popular, literary titles, nor have access to current informational, non-fiction books. Can’t wait to choose our books!

    Thank you, from this humble, elementary school librarian and teacher.

Join Donate


get updates