The Edmond Sun

April 24, 2013

Half Price Books provides free books for children

Nonprofits, educators pick up 5,100 books in 15 minutes

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — A local store gives a new definition to community as it helps nonprofits and educators by providing free books as part of its Half-Pint program.

Half Price Books opened its doors at 10 a.m. Wednesday and in 15 minutes more than 5,100 books had been given away during its Half-Pint Library program, store management said.

At Half Price Books, the books were donated by the Oklahoma City and Edmond communities and matched two to one by Half Price Books to be given to nonprofit organizations and educators to pass on to children who may not have a book of their own.

“More than 2 million books have been given away in our 118 stores across the nation in the 15 years we have been giving books away,” said store manager Brett Jones, “and 7,000 books will be given away this month in the Oklahoma City-Edmond area alone.”

The store has been in business for 40 years.

Some of the non-profit organizations that received bookse Wednesday were: First Christian Church, Orvis Risner Elementary, Northern Hills Elementary, Liberty Christian Academy, Centennial Elementary, Eugene Field Elementary, Sunset Elementary and Charles Haskell Elementary.

Orvis Risner Principal Shana Perry said this was the first time she had heard of the program and was excited to be part of it.

“One of my kindergarten teachers, Alexis Berckmann, brought me the form and we put it in motion and ended up with about 300 high interest children books, all free,” Perry said.  

Jones said the company was green before green was cool.

“We don’t want any books to go into the ground,” he said.

“We do anything we can to help underprivileged children or high-risk children who have incarcerated parents by providing them books of their own,” said assistant manager Jessee Rigney.

Jones said books are provided to homeless children, children suffering from domestic abuse and children in after-school programs. Books donated through the Half Pint Library program provide an escape from the challenges faced by children, while helping to boost literacy outside of school.

“One program we donate to is called Uniting Families,” Jones said, and incarcerated parents are given a chance to choose a book and someone helps them read it in front of a video camera and then the book, a DVD with their parent reading a story and a card are taken to the child.”

Half Price Books will be sponsoring Mad Science on May 18, an interactive educational event for children.

A Second Saturday Story Time s when children can come in and color a Bookworm coloring sheet and get 10 percent off their purchase and at 3 p.m. enjoy a Half Price Books staff member reading a story in the children’s section.

FOR MORE information on how to donate or become part of one of the programs to provide books for children who may have none stop by 1159 E. Second St. or call 359-2934 or go to