BookNooks Program (2000-Present)

In 2010, KeyBank provided an additional grant of ten thousand dollars from the KeyBank Foundation to continue the BookNooks Initiative. The BookNooks Program which was established and copyrighted in 2000 by Project Flight in partnership with KeyBank gives agencies, schools, teachers, parents and students, pre-k through senior high, access to a carefully selected special collection of books and reading programs.  BookNooks also provides a special parent-teacher resource library, which gives concrete information on activities that, encourage a child’s success in school. This outreach effort is designed to establish a cadre of children, teachers, and their caregivers who will commit to fostering literacy activities and reading together regularly.  Precious moments are created when books are shared.  These moments are a gift that will remain forever because they create a world touched by love and imagination.  They stir children’s imagination, spark communication, and allow children to invent their future.
This program was established in all of the elementary schools in Buffalo (45), selected charter, and catholic schools, as well as in schools and centers in outlying areas such as the Tuscarora Indian School and the Journey’s Child Enrichment Center. Since the beginning of the program, 169,280 new books have been donated to 201 different schools and agencies and the number of students and families served in the five Western New York counties was approximately 1,017,108. The success of this program has been demonstrated by increased reading scores on standardized test and by self-reported teacher/parent comments. According to statistics from the Library Research Service (1998), the National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that a comparison of mean values of children’s reading scores 
 indicates that states who have children who read at or above grade level can be found in schools where students have good access to library media specialists, visit media school libraries frequently, borrow books and other materials often, and have parent and/or caregiver involvement. This program specifically addresses the development of teachers, parents, caregivers, and/or concerned community members as reading partners and targets the need for children to read for meaning and interpretation. At the high school level, the mentoring of freshman through seniors is accomplished by focus on all of the English Language Arts Standards (Standards 1, 2, 3, & 4).