BOOKS FOR CHANGE: Help me give schools books & author visits

For: Underfunded Schools
Fort Collins, CO
Organizer: Todd Mitchell
of $5,500 goal.
Raised by 37 donors
43% Complete

The Story

Help me give 1000 books and 10 author visits to underfunded schools!
During my years as a teacher and writer, I’ve seen professional author visits make a powerful difference for students. Unfortunately, the schools who could benefit the most from such visits often have no budget to bring authors in. And the students who could benefit the most from getting a book often can’t buy one. I want to change this by giving students at ten schools an inspiring new novel, and an experience with the author that they’ll never forget.

I’m an award-winning writer and teacher who’s visited over 100 schools to promote literacy and creativity. In 2016, I gave away $6000 in books to schools. It might not have been the best business strategy, but it felt great and it made a big difference for hundreds of students. In 2017, I want to give away a whole lot more by raising enough through donations and matching grants to give away 1000 books. If I can do this, I’ll donate 10 author visits to underfunded schools who will get those books. Your support is vital to make this happen.

My newest novel for young readers, The Last Panther, is coming out with Random House in August 2017, just in time for the school year. It’s the story of Kiri and her father who capture the last known Florida panther, and embark on a journey to save it. Best-selling author T.A. Barron called The Last Panther “A boldly original, profoundly wise, deeply moving book. It’s a rare gift to any reader, as well as to our planet.”

The book connects to curriculum goals for 4-7th grades, and the focus on characters facing social, environmental, and economic challenges makes it an ideal book to discuss. Most importantly, the book contains a powerful message of hope—even the youngest of us can make a difference. I believe that when people take positive actions to help others, it builds confidence and character. Ultimately, that’s what I want the students who are given these books to be empowered to do.

Some of the students I’ve visited in underfunded schools don’t own a single book. By supporting BOOKS FOR CHANGE, you’re not only providing these students with books, you’re giving them the opportunity to meet an author and learn about how books are written. (Note: All of your support will go toward purchasing books that will be given to schools. I’ll donate school visits and will not make income on this endeavor.)

Most Title 1 schools would qualify, as well as other elementary and middle schools that haven’t been able to afford to bring an author to their school in the past, or schools where a large part of the student population cannot afford to buy books. If you think your Colorado school might qualify and would like an author visit, email me at [email protected].

No worries. I still do visits professionally, and I still need to earn a living. If you’d like to bring me out to your school, please visit my website, www.ToddMitchellBooks.comand look under “For Teachers” for visit reviews, rates, and possibilities. Or send me an email at [email protected] to schedule a visit.

Please spread the word about this program to any teachers, students, and schools you know! And thank you for your support!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 22, 2017


Posted on April 22, 2017

Dear Generous Supporters of Books for Change,

I wanted to be the first to share with you some good news. I just received an Arts Education Grant from the Boulder Arts Commission that will help me double the impact of your donation. Because of this grant, I'll be able to give free author visits to over 700 students at two Boulder Title 1 schools this fall. And, to make the visits and the writing workshops more impactful, 240 of those students will receive a free copy of The Last Panther. Thank you for your generous support and encouragement to make this happen.

Since I've also set up visits with several Fort Collins area schools, this means that the Books for Change program will now reach at least five schools, and nearly 2,500 students (with around 500 students getting a free book). I couldn't have done this without your help! 

There's still one more grant I'm in the process of applying for, which could help me expand the impact of your donation even further. Fingers crossed that this grant will get funded too. My goal is to be able to provide visits and books for ten Colorado schools! I'm halfway there!

And in case you're curious, here are a few photos from a school visit I did last week at Fort Collins High School, where I also donated over $1000 in books to encourage a personal connection to reading and writing among teens.

Thank you for all your support. This whole program started with you and your belief in me. I hope you'll spread the word to any other folks you know who might be interested in supporting Books for Change, or in getting me to visit their school.

Best wishes,

Todd Mitchell

Posted on January 28, 2017

Posted on January 28, 2017

Dear Amazing Supporters,

Holy flying squirrels! In one day, you helped BOOKS FOR CHANGE reach almost 20% of the funding goal! Thank you for giving this campaign such a strong and auspicious launch.

In one day, I've also been contacted by three underfunded schools in Colorado who would like an author visit, and books for their students. Because of you and your generous support, I'll be able to give classroom sets of books and author visits to at least two schools (so far). I can't wait to share photos with you in the fall of the students who you provided with books and this chance to develop a memorable personal connection to reading and writing.

I hope to double your impact by applying for matching grants (if you know of any relevant grants I could apply for, please email me). And next week, I'm going to talk with teachers at a literacy conference about this program, so my list of underfunded schools requesting an author visit and books for their students is sure to keep growing. 

It's going to be a long journey to reach my goal of visits and books for ten schools, but because of you and your extremely generous support, BOOKS FOR CHANGE is off to a fantastic start.

Thank you again for all you've done to support me and this program.

Be well,


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