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The Million Book Effort

Million Book EffortThe South Carolina Conference has a God sized dream to collect 1,000,000 (1 Million) new, age-appropriate books for pre-school and elementary school children by June 3rd, 2014 (Tuesday of Annual Conference).  – This breaks down to roughly 83,500 books per District and roughly 1,000 books per church.

In addition we will have a celebratory worship service Tuesday Night at Annual Conference that is focused on youth and young adults. We would love to see you at this service to help us celebrate! More information will be coming soon, so please keep checking back. Also be sure to visit www.MillionBookEffort.org to volunteer and register



Volunteer Release From

Million Book Effort – Step by Step
Printable Sticker Sheet for Avery Form “Shipping Label, 6 per sheet – 3 1/3×4″
Book Request Form
Sample Solicitation Letter
Bulletin Insert
Suggested Reading List (Excel File)

Million Book Effort Logo . jpg
Million Book Effort Logo .pdf
Facebook Cover image

Permanent link to this article: http://www.umcsc.org/home/the-million-book-effort/


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  1. Nancy Russell

    Little River UMC in Little River has collected 1007 new books some of which will be brought to Marion on Saturday, the rest to Annual Conference. We also received 4 boxes of used books which have already been donated to a local elementary school.

  2. George

    12 May 2014
    We are pleased to let you know we completed the distribution of our 3000 books this morning with the delivery of books to Clarendon District 1 schools.
    Pictures of various actions to reaching this goal are available upon request.

  3. George

    Yesterday, Friday, 9 May, Dorothy & Wright Turbeville delivered books to all three schools in Clarendon District 2. They stated they had a delightful time. They found that everyone was extremely nice and appreciative. At the Early Childhood Center (where no testing was going on) they visited a Kindergarten Class and Dorothy talked to them about reading and owning their own book. Wright says the excitement in their faces made the whole project worth doing. The remainder of our books will be presented to Clarendon 1 on Monday, 12 May.

  4. George

    7 May 2014- Our books were delivered to the two schools in Clarendon 3. All were grateful for the books.

  5. George

    Monday, 5 May-
    Early this morning we at Jordan United Methodist Church took delivery of our order of 3000 books. By lunch time the books were all organized by year, school district and labeled. All books will be delivered by Monday. We were most grateful that 19 of our Church members were able to take time from busy schedules to make this happen in a most professional manner.

  6. David Phillips

    “Therefore encourage one another with these words” (I Thessalonians 4:18)

    The churches of the Jamestown charge continue to amaze me with their generosity and heart for missions. St. James, Mt. Zion and New Hope all contributed $300 each toward the million book project. As a result of their generosity I gave $100 to bring the total up to $1000 for the charge. This is an exceptional donation for churches that only have an average attendance 15 and 24 per church on any given Sunday (Charge Average Worship Attendance = 53). It is not the size of the church, but rather it is the size of the heart the church has for helping people.

    When you put a project like this before the churches and they respond as they have it warms my heart. I am so proud of these churches for stepping up for the cause.

    God Bless
    David N. Phillips

  7. George

    We set a goal at Jordon United Methodist Church (Florence District) of 1000 books soon after the program was announced and are happy to report that we presently have 3000 books on hand and plan to distribute them to Clarendon School Districts 1, 2 and 3 prior to the end of this school year, that is about a month from now.

    Please advise if you have a standard label prepared and available. If not we are prepared to print labels giving credit to the 1 Million Book Effort, the Jordan UMC and the SC Literacy Program.

    Any advise or suggestions?


  8. Ron Bentley

    Dear Fellow United Methodist,
    I am writing to you concerning The Million Book Effort of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. I am member of First United Methodist Church in Easley, SC where I work with preschool and early elementary programs. I am also an Educational Consultant for EDC Publishing and Usborne Books & More. In this role I have been able to serve a number of churches and organizations in the Upstate providing book fairs, grant and donation matching and reading incentive programs.
    Usborne Books & More is a company founded based on a passion for literacy, promoting the love of reading and getting books into the hands of children who need them. In fact, our mission statement reads in part: “The future of our world depends on the education of our children. We deliver educational excellence one book at a time. … We touch the lives of children for a lifetime. “
    There a number of ways I hope to help my own church with this amazing and vital initiative. The easiest method is by utilizing a program we have called Literacy for a Lifetime. This program takes grant or DONATED funds (such as those collected at a church) for the purchase of Usborne Books. Our company will then give an ADDITIONAL 50% in FREE books of your choosing. The books will ship free and if there is tax-exempt status, I can apply that.
    I am referring you to this link for some additional information. http://literacyforalifetime.org/?B1509 Please note that any time the word “grant” is used, the term donations are applicable. The program was initially designed for schools but has since expanded widely. There is a $200 minimum for this program….but that can be combined from donation sources. There is no limit to how often the program can be utilized. I think it is a PERFECT FIT. It would also meet needs in congregations where resources are severely limited or congregational size is small allowing churches to combine efforts.
    I realize that there are many questions and I assure you I am happy to work with churches one on one. I sometimes get the question – “So what’s the catch?” I answer simply “there is not a catch”. I work for a company that truly wants to get great books into the hands of children! I am happy to obtain references if needed and will assure you that I have worked on large endeavors with Michelin Challenge Education, Rotary Club of Greenville Read to Me Program and various school and library programs.
    We are trying to assist churches in maximizing their money. Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience. I am happy to meet with as many churches as I can. I can certainly meet with district leadership. I am trained to recommend titles for a variety of needs and ages and can work to meet the needs of the church as well as the potential recipients of the books. I hope this information is helpful and I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
    Sincerely, Markley Hidde, Team Leader & Educational Consultant
    Usborne Books & More (864) 855-6429

  9. Pam Inman

    This is the contact information I have for the Books Are Fun folks. Hopewell UMC was able to purchase approximately 200 books for around $350.

    Books Are Fun
    Terry or Dianne Hawkins
    online: mystore.booksarefun.com (shipping charges will be included in online orders)

  10. Pam Inman

    I work at Buford High School in Lancaster SC and my husband is Rev. David Inman at Hopewell UMC. We have a group of companies who display their merchandise at our school at discounted prices. They offer a good selection of children’s books at very good prices. For example this month there is a set of 7 books for just $10 and another set of 6 for $13. The company is Books Are Fun and our representative is from the upstate. I contacted them about possibly letting the churches order from them and they are more than happy to accommodate us. They are also interested in possibly having a place to set up at Conference. I will forward you their personal contact information as soon as I am able to. As I am passionate about my walk with Christ and being his hands and feet and also a lover of books and reading, I applaud you in this undertaking.

    In His service,

    1. Ricky Howell

      Thank you for sharing this information, and also for your support of the Million Book Effort. Please email me any information that you have about this program at rrhowelljr@ymail.com. Thanks again!

      Ricky Howell
      Chair, Million Book Effort Design Team

  11. Bob Huggins

    I hope someone from the Million Book Effort Design Team will follow up on two large book distributors.
    Logos OM Ships Book International located in Florence, SC, Mr. David Waugh @ 843-656-1743 or 843-610-1179. Also Christianbook Distributors located in Peabody, Ma., Mr. Neil Eagelton 978-573-2197 both are eager to partner with this project. Please these possible partners contact ASAP, and let everyone know if there are good deals. Also I hear that the books will be distributed through the libraries. Will this create an issue of the ability for us to collect Christian based books? Will we be assured that the books will get to the most needed? Who decides who gets books and who follows through to see that the goals of the committee are met?

  12. David Christiansen

    We (Windsor UMC) are working with Scholastic as part of our effort to provide as many books as possible before the June 3rd. deadline. We are working to get into their Face program which will provide us with numerous different purchasing opportunities at discount prices. If you are interested in this program and/or would like additional information you can contact Kelly Brown at – Phone: 1-704-607-4938 or E-mail: krbrown@scholastic.com.

    David Christiansen
    Windsor UMC

    1. Kelly Brown

      Thank you Dave. It has been a pleasure working with you.
      Scholastic has award winning titles at the best prices plus free shipping and free books!!!
      if you need anything else please contact me at krbrown@scholatic.com or 704-607-4938

  13. Julie Diehl

    My name is Julie Diehl – I am an Educational Consultant for Usborne Books & More in the Midlands area. Like Deb Schumann mentioned above, our company provides some great programs for helping get books into the hands of children. Our program, Literacy For A Lifetime, provides a 50% matching grant for funds that are being used for that purpose. For example, $500 would actually get you $750 in books along with free shipping and personal service. You can read more about the program here: http://www.literacyforalifetime.com/C3544 and view our catalog of over 1500 titles at http://www.BooksKidsLoveToRead.com, click “shop”. You can find books in your price range by clicking the search icon, select “advanced search” then search by price. Remember, a $5 book is actually a $3.35 book with the LIteracy For A Lifetime program. Please contact me at 803-636-2630 or Gemie@Diehlnet.com, I am happy to assist.

    Julie Diehl
    Educational Consultant/Team Leader
    Usborne Books & More

  14. Kathy Hart

    Our church has been in touch with Scholastic, Inc., and we are currently working to get an open account number that will be available for the entire conference. We will report back as soon as that happens.

    In our thousand, we want to include 100 bilingual books because we have an ESOL school run by the school district but meets in our church. The parents bring their preschoolers with them. Ricky, we are hoping that we can get these books directed back to this program. Is that going to be possible?

    Kathy Hart
    Windsor UMC

    1. Ricky Howell

      Please contact me via email at rrhowelljr@ymail.com or in my office at 803-327-5640 so that we can discuss your questions further. I apologize for not seeing your message sooner, but I’d be glad to help as I can. Thanks.

      Ricky Howell
      Chair, Million Book Effort Design Team

  15. Troy Metzner

    I have been asked to get a listing of books to purchase. Can you please supply such a list? We want to be good stewards and present the right books.
    thank you
    Troy Metzner
    Bethlehem Prospect UMC’s

    1. Ricky Howell

      If you haven’t already found it, we have recently posted a “suggested” (but not required) list of acceptable books. You should be able to access it from this page. Thanks for your leadership. Feel free to contact me at rrhowelljr@ymail.com or 803-327-5640 if I can be of further help.

      Ricky Howell
      Chair, Million Book Effort Design Team

  16. Darnell McPherson

    This is a wonderful mission activity. First Steps to School Readiness, a non-profit organization, operates in each of the 46 counties of South Carolina and serves at-risk families with children under the age of 5. Darlington County First Steps is eager to be identified as a recipient organization. We “train parents” to select age appropriate books and provide instruction on how to “extend” the stories. We area Motheread/Fatheread site. This curriculum uses specific books to address child and family development issues. We also need board books for inclusion in our “welcome baby bag” which is provided to new mothers in our county. Please visit our website or contact us at 843-861-8866. To God be the glory!

    1. Ricky Howell

      Thanks for sharing your info! I realize that it’s been a few weeks since this post, so someone may have already spoken with you. Regardless, a member of our Design Team is in touch with First Steps about establishing partnerships with our districts and churches. Thanks again for your help.

      Ricky Howell
      Chair, Million Book Effort Design Team

  17. Ricky Howell

    We are exploring partnerships with publishers/distributors to help secure books for a lower cost. Individual Districts should also be exploring possibilities. We will update the website with this information once it is available.
    The current deadline for collecting books is June 3rd. We are also in the process of determining collection sites and will make that information available soon.
    Thank you for leading your church in supporting the Million Book Effort!

    1. Gail

      What a wonderful project for all of us across the state. Some of the Ministers throughout the conference have already been approached by publishing companies. Buddy actually got and email from one about 3 weeks ago. I do not want to suggested online any of the companies since we secure books from many. However, if you are interested I have some publishers who work with projects such as this giving exceptional book prices. feel free to contact me if you should need more information.

      Thanks to you and all those responsible for realizing the importance of early childhood literacy!

  18. Kathy Beatty

    Our church is organizing to meet this 1000 book per church mission goal. Do you have a vendor who is offering discount books for volume purchase? We are located in the Columbia District – where do we need to send the books and what date do you want them?

    Kathy Beatty
    Faith United Methodist Church

    1. Julie Diehl


      I am an Usborne Books consultant in the Midlands area and would be happy to talk to you about our 50% matching grant program. Please contact me at 803-636-2630 or Gemie@Diehlnet.com . Info is available online at http://www.LiteracyForALifetime.com/C3544 .

  19. Deb Schumann

    I represent Usborne Books and More and am a member of St. Paul’s UMC in Spartanburg, SC. You may/not be aware that my company publishes high quality educational books for all ages that are correlated to the new Common Core standards, and we are known for our children’s nonfiction titles. We have several programs inc. a matching grant one that could double your efforts to acquire great children’s books. I will be talking to my local church(es) but would be thrilled to talk to anyone who would be interested about boosting literacy levels. We also have a program that could involve the youth groups to increase their own reading and earn books for others. My name is Deb Schumann at 864-574-5179 or 864-706-2059.

    1. Ray Ardis

      Hi Deb…Give me some idea what $500 worth of children books would look like. Our church is small and not financial able to go to far.

      1. Deb Schumann

        Sorry for the delay. Just visited back and saw your query. If you wished to buy $5.00 books(eg. we have $5.00 books for beginning science) That would give you 100 books. Our LFL program would provide an addition $250 in free books and free shipping. Ordering at that same price point, that would provide another 50 books. These science books are hard cover with reviewed Internet links for enrichment. I’d invite you to go to my website at http://www.myubam.com/L3435 and go to the ABOUT section and search by price. Please contact me at 864-706-2059 for additional information.

  20. Donald Murray

    Although your appeal for books specified NEW books, I have had numerous people offer used books that are in excellent condition. Would you accept these?

    Dom Murray,
    Gilbert UMC

    1. Ricky Howell

      At this time we are only accepting new books. You may contact me at 803-327-5640 or rrhowelljr@ymail.com to discuss this further. Thank you for your willingness to support the Million Book Effort!

      Ricky Howell
      Chair, Million Book Effort Design Team

      1. Loretta H. Wright

        Giving reading material to low funded schools is a great place to start to help students and teachers…but just wanted to know if the Million Book effort in anyway provide textbooks that the schools also desperately need? I recently had a conversation with a teacher from Burns Elementary and she was obviously stressed and concerned about the poor quality of the outdated textbooks students at her school and other low funded schools around the district are having to use. Providing new and updated textbooks along with other school related material will definitely boost the education level and learning morale of the students and help both them and the teachers be more enthusiastic and receptive of learning…Just a thought…

        God Bless Your Efforts,

        Loretta H. Wright
        New Francis Brown UMC

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