Posted on October 28 2018
It’s nearly been an entire year since The Rustic House and local non-profit HomeBound Books teamed up for Project This Little Light. HomeBound Books, which provides children’s books and bookshelves to elementary schools in need, was founded by Kelsey Butler in an effort to improve children’s reading abilities. In the past year alone, Butler has already seen such positive impact.
“We recently received an extremely exciting email from East Lake Elementary after this past school year. Previously, 29.8 percent of their students were reading on grade-level,” says Butler. “After the implementation of a HomeBound Books shelf by the front office, 50.5 percent of students were reading on grade level.
With substantial growth, the excitement of reading among students has increased as well.
“One of my favorite things is going to a school and talking with children about the shelves; they get so thrilled,” says Butler. “One little girl jumped off the carpet; she was so excited that she was going to be able to bring a book home every night. Another student told me she loved that the shelves have books for all grade levels, because she was able to take some home and read to her little sister.”
In addition to purchasing the special edition Bonfire-scented FireSide Stories candle--$12 goes to HomeBound Books--the community can help the non-profit flourish by contacting Butler for donations. Books, shelving supplies, money and simply volunteering time are always appreciated and needed.
There have been triumphs and challenges of running HomeBound Books--Butler works a second job to support herself--but she wouldn’t change a single thing about her journey. Often, she leans on the Chattanooga community for support.
“Chattanooga is working so hard to make this city the best community, and I’m happy to play a small part in our push for education,” says Butler.
Establishing and growing a non-profit may not be a fast-paced, overnight success, but Butler is determined to succeed.
“I’ve learned to not beat myself up for not being able to grow the program as quickly as I originally thought,” she says. “Eventually, I’ll look back and remember these [challenging] days and know that it was all worth it.”