Katy Preston is the founder and executive director of the Clackamas Bookshelf

Since 2014, the Clackamas Bookshelf has partnered with community organizations and every school district in Clackamas County to provide free books to children. We are so thankful for our supporters and volunteers. We appreciate that our community recognizes the importance of book ownership for all children, especially those living in underserved families. 

Many of us have heard that third-grade reading scores are important but might not know it's because by age 8 or so, children need to "read to learn" and not just "learn to read." Children who have a rich and full home library of their own show stronger educational achievement, regardless of their family's income or parents' educational level. This is what the Clackamas Bookshelf is working toward through our book giveaways. Everyone deserves to have books to call their own.  

This month, we reached a milestone with our 75,000th book making its way into a child's home! This would not have been possible without our amazing supporters. We are truly a grassroots, community-based organization and we are grateful for those who shop our monthly book sale, donate books or make monetary donations to help cover operational costs. 

I am humbled every day at the amazing volunteers and donors that continue to support our mission as it grows. What started in a garage in Oak Grove five-and-a-half years ago has grown to encompass hundreds of volunteers who truly value what it means to own books. Although we may never know the effect these books are having on the thousands of children who receive them, I can't imagine it is anything but positive. 

I would like to say a special "thank you" to all of those who have already supported our mission by signing up to become Member Donors. With sustained funding, we will be able to cast a larger net and reach even more local children. Some of our goals include providing personal libraries to more students in Head Start, continuing to provide 40% new books and to include more diverse titles into our offerings. 

To learn more about the Clackamas Bookshelf, visit our Facebook page or

Thank you all for your support. Together we can make a difference.

Katy Preston is founder/executive director of the Clackamas Bookshelf.

COURTESY PHOTO - Clackamas Bookshelf volunteer Katie Golden helps the organization celebrate giving book number 75,000 in Estacada.

Benefit literacy

What: Book sale to benefit children's literacy organization

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14

Where: Kraxberger Middle School,

17777 Webster Road, Gladstone

Cost: All books are 10 cents

Membership: Become a member for $25/month to receive 10 free books during each monthly sale and to shop before the sale opens to the public

More: Contact 503-908-3766 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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