Change a Child's Story Reports from churches

Change a Child's Story Reports from churches

February 03, 2017

Delhi United Methodist Church

The "Change A Child's Story" literacy project had a good year. It has been well received by the community. We began the project back in November 2015 when we accepted the United Methodist Conference's challenge to "give books and give time" to children to promote literacy, specifically to underprivileged children. Our vision with our literacy project was to get books into the hands of children in our community as well as spend time reading to them.

Our program is funded by donations, grants, fundraising events (bake sales), and collecting gently used books. Funds are used to purchase new books from Scholastic Book Clubs. We received a grant for $400 from Small Miracles and $500 from the McGee-Barr grant, both grants are funded through the Greater Delaware County Community Foundation. We received sizable donations from Maquoketa Valley Schools and Tiny House and most recently $500 from the Delhi Lions Club. The Delhi Public Library donated enough new paperback books to have our reading volunteers give each child in the elementary schools a book at the end of school year in May. Our latest bake sale in December brought in $187. Donations from private individuals have also come in. Many thanks to all who have contributed in one way or another!

Programs benefiting from "Change A Child's Story" include:
  • MV School District — Volunteers reading with children in the elementary schools
  • Books included in the MV Backpack Food program
  • Books donated to Parents As Teachers, a parent education program through the Regional Medical Center
  • Books donated to Families First Counseling Program
  • Delhi Public Library — Book Swap program for kids and books donated for use as incentives in special programs and activities at the library
  • Summer Read & Feed — Free meal, read with volunteers and a free book, done twice during the summer at the Delhi United Methodist Church
  • Little Free Library put in the Delhi City Park
  • Angel Tree Christmas project at Delhi United Methodist Church for children in families with an incarcerated parent
A total of 2148 new and gently used books have been acquired for the program since the program started and 1978 books have been given out. A total of 128 hours were read to children by 7 volunteers.

The newest addition to the program was installing a Little Free Library in the park shelter of the Delhi City Park in August. The Little Free Library was built and donated by students in Greg Drew's Industrial Arts Class at MV. The Little Free Library is stocked with books and magazines for children through adult. It runs on the idea, Take a Book, Return a Book. Books are free for the use. We use a lot of our gently used books for this purpose. This project has been well received by the community and had a lot of use while the weather was nice. A guest book is in the Little Free Library encouraging comments. All comments have been favorable. Books are recorded as they go in and the Little Free Library is checked weekly noting books that go in and out. Books are cycled out if they sit for 4 weeks in a row and more books are cycled in.

Use of the Little Free Library August through December 2016
  • 435 books cycled in
  • 113 books cycled out after sitting 4 weeks
  • 214 children's books gone, 92 adult books gone
  • 36 children's books returned, 9 adult books returned
  • 29 books added by the community
We are always looking for donations of gently used books and magazines for use in our program. Donations can be left at the church labeled for Change A Child's Story, or contact Jane Mesch, 563-920-4916. Volunteers will begin reading in the elementary schools for the second semester. Let Jane know if you are interested in helping with the program in any way.


Grace United Methodist Church, Des Moines

Change a Child’s Story had a great Advent Season. The goal was to encourage congregations to donate new books to children in poverty. And if Grace United Methodist is any indication of the success of the project it was definitively a success.

Grace United Methodist Church in Des Moines collected about 500 books during Advent for students at Martin Luther King Elementary in Des Moines as part of the Advent giving campaign for Change a Child’s Story. 

St. Paul's UMC in Williamsburg

As of January 10, 2017, St. Paul's UMC:
2 year goal: Donate 2,000 books
To date: Donated 2,248 books!

2 year goal: 500 volunteer hours             
To date: 536 hours completed!