About Our Organization
THE STORY OF US
Welcome to Beautiful Feet. Beautiful Minds.! BFBM is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization with a simple mission, to get free, brand new books and shoes into the hands and onto the feet of school age children grades Pre-Kindergarten thru 12. There is a literacy problem in our country and BFBM has the cure… Books! Many children who attend Title I Schools do not perform well on standardized tests, have low grades, and exhibit behavior issues. They are also less likely to further their education beyond high school to attend college and attain a college degree. Part of the reason for this is because many do not have access to books outside of the traditional school setting, and reading is not a part of their everyday culture. Studies show that children who read more, achieve more. BFBM addresses all of this by giving children ACCESS to free, brand new books, raising children’s AWARENESS of the power of reading, and making resources AVAILABLE for schools and families. We plan to partner with schools, churches, child advocacy groups, juvenile detention centers, barber shops, and other community organizations to go to where the need is. We also plan to partner with bookstores, publishing companies, and donors to get access to as many high quality, high interest books and novels as possible. Schools can go to our website and fill out the form to apply for a BFBM partnership. Once approved by the BFBM Board, a BFBM representative will meet with the school and perform a needs analysis. BFBM offers several services for schools and other organizations outside of just free book giveaways. This is how BFBM plans to start and sustain The “Read”olution!
Get Lit(erature) Pep Assemblies (Any Grade)
BFBM hosts high energy, fun pep assemblies to get students excited about reading. There will be music, videos, games, and prizes. Upon leaving the assembly, children will receive a grade appropriate, high interest, brand new, free book from BFBM.
Pages for Life Read Alouds (Any Grade)
BFBM volunteers will go into classrooms and read picture and chapter books to various classes. This will be a time of excitement and engagement where children can experience a volunteer reading expressively, discussing themes and reading strategies, and playing games.
Books and Beyond Book Club (3rd Grade and Up)
BFBM will work with a small group of students (no more than five at a time) to engage in the Books and Beyond Book Club. Students will meet with a BFBM Volunteer as often as once a week or as little as once a month (depending on the availability of the volunteer) to “talk shop” (life), build healthy relationships, engage with a grade appropriate, high interest chapter book or novel, and have discussions around some of the themes and messages of the book.
Classroom Libraries (Any Grade)
BFBM will work with schools to ensure that every classroom has a classroom library with a wide variety of literary options for children to choose, from comic books and graphic novels to magazines to picture and chapter books to novels. Every child is a reader; they just need to find the right book!
Freedom Festivals (Family Engagement Events)
BFBM will host this free, informative, and energetic event quarterly. Parents will receive resources and tips about how to raise children in a literacy rich home, and children will leave with three free books!
Barber Shop Bookshelves
BFBM will partner with local barber shops in the community and stack their bookshelves full of books. Children who get haircuts at these shops can leave with a fresh haircut and a free book. Children must be present to receive a book.
Churches, Community Organizations (i.e. Boys and Girls Club), Child Advocacy Groups, Juvenile Detention Centers, Orphanages, Etc.
BFBM will provide “Book Drops” with various community groups to ensure those children have access to high quality, high interest literacy. BFBM wants to leave “no stone unturned” during this “Read”olution. All children deserve this opportunity. Who knows, a book may be the one thing they need to change the trajectory of their lives!
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SHOES?!
BFBM will provide a variety of items to give away during this “Read”olution! Everything from restaurant gift cards and electronics to bicycles and, of course, SNEAKERS! The sneakers are reserved for the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the creme’ de la creme’. BFBM will give shoes away to children based on their engagement (How many books did you read? How many projects did you complete?). There will be various projects connected to each book (from movie trailers to poems to TikTok videos and more). The students who are the most engaged and the most creative throughout the school's partnership with BFBM will be eligible to receive a brand new pair of kicks! Who will be the ones who deserve the ultimate prize?
How Can You Help?
A Letter From Our Founder:
“Hi, my name is Henry Wallace Kleckley, III, but, respectfully, you can call me Mr. K!” These were the first words that I said to my students on the first day of school for ten school years as a middle and high school English teacher. I have served in public education for nearly seventeen years in a variety of roles and capacities, and in that time, I have served mainly at Title 1 Schools. For those who may not know, Title 1 Schools are schools that have a high student population that lives in poverty. When I became an English teacher, I understood that I had to get my students to read, but how could I do that for children who hated reading? I had to get the right books in their hands. So for the first two years of my teaching career, I purchased books. All kinds of books. Magazines, comic books, newspapers, graphic novels, picture books, chapter books, and novels. Before long I had an impressive classroom library of nearly 500 books! And that was the beginning of the “Read”olution for my students. Everyday my students would show up to class on time, (Tardies were an issue across the campus. But not for me.) so they could get their hands on their favorite books before their peers. We started each classroom session the same way, with ten minutes of silent, sustained reading. I knew I was making a difference when one day I decided to see how long my students would silently read before they realized we were past the ten minute mark. After twenty-five minutes of complete silence, (because everyone in the class was engaged with a book) one of my students looked up and asked me how long it had been. When I told him it had been 25 minutes, he simply said “ok” and kept on reading. Consequently, the students’ attitude towards reading changed, they looked forward to coming to school, their grades were better (even in math and science), their behavior was better; it just had an all around good effect.
Towards the end of my first year teaching, I began to notice my students’ shoes. The shoes they were so proud of at the beginning of the school year were worn, dirty, tattered, and/or too small. I thought to myself, “I wish I could give all of my kids a brand new pair of shoes they could be proud of.” Needless to say, I did not have the funds, the resources, or the connections to make that happen back then. That is why I started Beautiful Feet. Beautiful Minds. We are a 501 (c)(3) Nonprofit Organization that has a very simple mission, to put books in children’s hands and shoes on their feet. This will have a positive impact on their school experience and, ultimately, their life experience. It will help them “Live. Beautiful.”. In the words of Dr. Theodore Geissel, Dr. Seuss, this is what we want for every child who experiences Beautiful Feet. Beautiful Minds. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” Through all of the programs that Beautiful Feet. Beautiful Minds. has to offer, help us by joining the “Read”olution! You’ll be so glad you did.
Beautiful Feet. Beautiful Minds.