Building a Classroom Library on a Budget

Everyone knows reading is important in school, but just how many books does a teacher need? Although that answer varies, on average students read 3,600 minutes each month. That requires a lot of book! The problem is books are expensive. No matter how many books you may want need for your class, you definitely cannot buy them all. So, if you're working on building up your classroom library, we have some tips to stretch your budget and fill your bookcases!

1. Advertise - request new or gently used books from your students in the school or class newsletter

2. Partnerships - talk to your local bookstore or Half Price Books to see if they would be willing to set up a box for donations at their store (you could even provide a list of titles)

3. Scholastic Monthly Deals - each month Scholastic offers $1 book deals (they also have some good deals if you are buying books in bulk!)

4. Crowd Source - set up an account with Donor's Choose or Adopt a Classroom (check with your school first)... there are plenty of people who want to help you out, but they don't know how to on their own

5. Library Sales - public libraries often hold sales of used books that they have too many copies of (check with your library to see if they have any deals like "as many books as you can put in the tote for $10")

6. Goodwill - you will often find books for just a quarter at Goodwill

7. Scholastic Warehouse Sales - warehouse sales don't happen very often, but when they do you can stock up on tons of books for just a fraction of normal retail price

8. Kohl's Cares - each month Kohl's swaps out their book selection near their checkout stations... you can grab a handful of hardcover books for just $5 and the adorable plush characters that go along with them

9. Retiring Teachers - not every teacher that leaves the classroom will need their books in the future, see if you can buy their books

10. Garage or Yard Sales - nearly every garage sale will have at least one tub of books and they're typically pretty cheap

11. Book Drive - hold a book drive as a school or a community

What are some ways you've built up your classroom library?

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