Teachers and Schools

Our journey with My Own Book Fund began with Joel Apelbaum and his wife in 2007. I remember Joel and his wife coming in and proposing this wonderful program for our third graders. For the last thirteen years, we have been so blessed to have over 1,500 students receive free books from Barnes and Noble to read, take home and create or add to their home libraries. There are very few book stores for families to access in our vicinity. My Own Book Fund provides the opportunity for our students to visit Barnes and Nobles and open a world of reading and turning pages of exciting books of their own choice. Their favorite books were read at home and in school and they wrote incredible stories about their experience in the My Own Book Fund program. We are grateful to continue our partnership with the My Own Book program and look forward to many years together for the benefit of our great and “Bronx Strong” students.

Graciela NavarroPrincipal, PS35X

I have been on many trips with my class over the years as a third grade Teacher. Each Trip was
well organized and exciting for the students. Thank you for your dedication to the children and
your love of books. You have helped to increase the students’ desire to explore new books.
Again, your philanthropy is greatly appreciated.

Ms. Eady3-337

I would like to use this opportunity to thank you for organizing the school trip to Barnes and Noble bookstore in November last year. I had a pleasure to chaperone my twin daughters third grade classes, one led by you and another one led by Mrs. K. In my opinion the trip was a great
success. It was great not only because the students were given such a great gift( 50 dollars
worth of books) but it was also well organised and executed from the beginning to the end.
Before the trip, the students were visited by the ladies who are the representatives of the organisation who donated 50 dollars for each third grader in order to buy the books of their choice at Barnes and Noble bookstore. I especially liked that you connected this trip to the math and used it as an opportunity for the students to practice in real life what they study at school by adding the prices of the books and making sure not to go over 50 dollars. Another thing I liked about the organisation of the trip was that the students were divided into small groups of 3 or 4 and each group has a parent chaperone to help them with the choice of the right level books as well as the calculation of the prices of the books and making sure not to go over the given amount. It was nice to see how students enjoyed helping each other both in choosing the right level as well as the genre of the book. At the bookstore everything went smoothly. Students were greeted by the same ladies who visited them at school and recommended few titles that the ladies found appropriate for the third grade students. Then the students went on and chose the books they wanted to take home with them. This is what my daughter Lauren wrote about the trip: I had fun at Barnes and Nobles because it was fun picking books and adding the prices of the books and making sure we do not go over 50$. It was interesting looking at other kids and seeing what kind of books they like. I was in the group with Rebecca and Arisha.After this trip we became much better friends. I read all the books that I got in Barnes and Noble. The books were interesting and fun to read. Thank you so much for organising this fun and meaningful trip.

Mrs Aguillar

Dear My Own Book Fund, On November 6, 2019, Class 3-311 from P. S. 166Q had the pleasure of going to Barnes and Noble Bookstore to select $50 worth of free books. The students were so excited. We prepared for this special event by learning about different genres, how to select books based on Just Right Levels, and how to estimate the value of a book to the nearest dollar. Students also learned the difference between hard and soft -covered books. They learned about the great bargain table, too. They had a grand time selecting their own books with help from all the volunteers. The students were so proud of their selections. The bus ride back to school was so quiet. Each child was so immersed in their books. The trip really inspired the children to read. I highly recommend this trip, and I have been part of this great experience since it began at our school. Mr. Freeman has definitely enhanced child literacy by giving students this opportunity to participate in this program. Thank you so much.

Mrs. Annmarie DavenelTeacher of Class 3-311

Thank you for reaching out about highlighting some of our students and their experiences with My Own Book Fund on your website. It has always been an absolute favorite trip of ours and our relationship with you all has meant a lot to us over the years.

Please see attached for a word document with some of the letters written by students, parents and teachers. I have also attached pictures, but we did end up getting lot, both of the children on their trips and also pictures of the cards they created while at home during remote learning. I don’t think they will all fit, so there should be a follow up email.

I hope this helps your website and lets people know just how wonderful this experience is for the children! On behalf of Ms. Geller and myself, we hope to hear from you again soon!!

Lambrini MatsasAssistant Principal, P.S. 166 Queens

Every year the volunteers and My Own Book Fund support our school, our third graders, with the greatest gift – books! And every year our third graders look forward to the day when they get to take the special field trip and choose books of their own from Barnes & Noble and add to their at home personal libraries. I am filled with gratitude on behalf of my students and their families. I love watching happy third graders return from their amazing day. They run up the stairs, beaming with excitement about their newest treasures. THANK YOU MY OWN BOOK FUND for fostering a love of reading in children and supporting a very appreciative community!!

Robin BergAssistant Principal, PS 126/MAT

Our students have been very lucky to have the opportunity to participate in this program. This is a fabulous experience for them. For some of them, it is the first time they’ve ever been to a bookstore. By letting students have their own shopping experience, My Own Book Fund is a wonderful program that encourages and implements the love of reading.

Georgia KotsogiannisP.S. 166Q -Third Grade Teacher

I would to take this moment to thanks Mrs. Davenel for allowing me to chaperoned the trip to Barnes and Nobles. It was an amazing experience, the kids were extremely happy and super excited that they have $50 dollars each to spend for their favorite books. Thank you so much for putting a beautiful smile to each of the kids.

Johanna Segura-Arenas

When I was asked to express how My Own Book Fund has impacted the lives of our children at P.S. 1 I can only be reminded of the poem one of our fourth graders wrote for A Poem in My Pocket Day this past April. These experiences and adventures with books have opened up opportunities for our children that are endless for their imaginations and their creative growth. As they come to understand their current world, your gift of books have given them a moment of inspiration and peace through a character's actions and stories. Certainly through books and the stories they've read, it will support them in deciding what matters in their lives for the future.

Thank you and I'm so grateful for your vision and a passion to ensure a library of our children at P.S. 1.

Amy HomP.S. 1 Principal

My Own Book has been a saving grace for my students. Many of my students do not have access to brand new books often. Most of my students live with several siblings and cousins, so for them to have their own books just for them, is something that doesn't happen for them nearly as often as it should. Seeing the looks on my students' faces as we enter Barnes and Noble and as they search for their books is completely priceless. Thank you to My Own Book for providing these students with brand new books. These books help them to really truly enjoy reading.

Allison Reich3rd Grade teacher, PS126M