Kiwanis Club Bookcase Project donates 50 bookcases

On May 1, the Conway Kiwanis Club’s Bookcase Project held an event at the Faulkner County Library and presented bookcases and books to approximately 50 children who are a part of Head Start. 

Fifty children from Head Start received a handmade bookcase on May 1. Back row: John McGraw (from left), Richard Plotkin (Bookcase Project leader) and Jim Davidson (Project Founder). Front row: The child’s representative, Ezekial Fisher, Reagan Hamilton, a teacher at the Conway Head Start Center and Jennifer Welter, executive director of Community Action Program for Central Arkansas (CAPCA.)

Each bookcase has a brass plate on the front with the child’s name on it and they receive a “starter kit” of a dozen books, including a Bible. They were also given a stuffed animal “Reading Buddy” and personalized bookmark to encourage early literacy development.

The Bookcase Project was started in 2005 by author Jim Davidson of Conway. At that time, he was not aware of a similar project in the U.S. He started the bookcase effort because he saw a need to improve literacy development in young children as a means to create a better life for people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Davidson and the Conway Kiwanis Club have made a tremendous impact on igniting a desire to read in preschoolers by giving them a nice bookcase and starter set of books. Two years ago, Mr. Davidson resigned as director of the project and Richard Plotkin, a fellow Kiwanian, now heads it up.  

At this time, the Bookcase Project has been adopted in several other communities across Arkansas and a few surrounding states.  Davidson’s goal it to see the program functioning in every state in the U.S.