Literary Activism

#FillEveryShelf: Double Your Impact on Classroom Literacy Projects

We’ve been advocating every week through our “Friday Fund Days” posts for classroom literacy projects throughout the U.S. via DonorsChoose. Each classroom is selected by writers who want to boost projects created by teachers eager to build more literary classrooms with the help of a little money from the public. Most of these projects ask for relatively little and, in return, offer a priceless gift to hundreds of young minds.

DonorsChoose is a powerful non-profit program that allows teachers to request funds for classroom needs. Anyone who has ever known a teacher knows that the budgets they receive from schools is small, and so many put a significant part of their insignificant salaries right back into their students. DonorsChoose gives teachers a platform to ask for money, and the organization acts as intermediary in acquiring and sending those items to the teachers.

March 2–6, 2020, launches DonorsChoose’s #FillEveryShelf campaign. Meant to help bolster literacy projects, each donation made to a classroom book or reading related project is doubled.


#FillEveryShelf is being run concurrently with National Reading Month and launches readers into March’s push for literacy, for books, and for fostering a love of reading. This is DonorsChoose’s third year participating in #FillEveryShelf, and the organization expects to generate one million dollars in donations.

“An expansive, diverse classroom library is a priceless resource for any

teacher,” said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose and a former high
school teacher. “We’re grateful to our generous community for supporting
our #FillEveryShelf campaign this year, so that a new generation of students can fall in love with reading.”

The numbers are astounding—and humbling. Last year alone, DonorsChoose fulfilled requests for 52,000 books from 41,000 teachers, at a total of $24,000. #FillEveryShelf was a one-day event last year and was able to fulfill 3,400 book requests, raising $430,000.

This is the first year #FillEveryShelf will run longer than a whole day.

There are no special codes needed to double your impact to book-related projects during this year’s event. Simply select your classroom or classrooms, made your donation, and DonorsChoose will match. Think about it this way: donate $10 to two classrooms and you will really be donating $20 to each, or $40 total. That can purchase a surprising amount of books.

So how to find classrooms to which to donate? When you navigate to find a classroom to support, there’s a simple checkbox for “Literacy and Language.” You can then sort those results a few ways: by highest need classrooms, by classrooms which need the least or most amount of money to be fully funded, and those which are most urgent. You can also search for classrooms near where you live or, as I like to do, search by titles of books that you’re passionate that students are able to get their hands on.

This week, you can make a difference. One child picking up book that changes their lives enters the world ready to stand up, to speak out, and to live their best lives. That, of course, allows them to do the same thing for the next generation, then the next.

That ripple effect matters.