What Drives Our School Book Drives?

Please note: Unfortunately, due to COVID and extraordinary post-COVID shipping costs we are not no longer able to manage our book drive program.

Book drives are a fun way to engage students in a meaningful experience that makes change happen. The four easy steps of a typical book drive are charted below.

All book drive materials are located in the Teacher Resources”
The documents in the blue column are readable and downloadable. They’ll answer most of your questions, including book collection criteria. Everything you need to run a successful, two week book drive is here. 

Step 1: Complete the School Information Form”
Download this PDF. Fill in all fields. Remember to save it! Then send it as an attachment to: sonyawhite@​oneworldschoolhouse.​org.

Still have questions? Send us an e-mail
Email: sonyawhite@​oneworldschoolhouse.​org.

Video Link 1: Why Literacy Matters
You can download or stream our video called Why Literacy Matters”, described in School Assembly.”

Video Link 2: Panyee Football Club
You can stream a second video called The Story Of Panyee Football Club”, described in Optional Supplementary Lesson Plan.” Click anywhere on the first page; there’s an embedded weblink to the video on YouTube.

Teacher Resources

These documents include: box ordering and box pick-up; book criteria – what we can and cannot accept; how to promote your book drive with posters and morning announcements; letters to parents.

1. School Information Form 2. Getting Started 3. Criteria for Donated Books 4. Collection & Sorting Guidelines 5. Box Packing Information 6. Packing Postcard for Donors 7. Sample Parent Letter 8. Promotional Materials & Tips for Success 9. Final Pick-up Date 10. School Assembly Material 11. Optional Supplementary Lesson Plan

Our goal is to transform lives through reading
OWSH is dedicated to educating kids and families about literacy, inspiring them to take action. We are empowering students in Ontario to become directly involved in literacy initiatives that are restoring school libraries and transforming lives in the Eastern Caribbean.

Book drives are the heart and soul of our organization
Students from over 50 Ontario elementary schools have poured their energy into retrieving 250,000 gently used books from home. These have been redistributed in St. Lucia, Grenada, Montserrat and Nevis where school libraries have been neglected for years. The book drive program, coupled with our annual Rainforest of Reading Festival, is creating a meaningful context for literacy– and inspiring new advocates every day.

If you’re an individual with books to give away
We regret we’re not able to accept book donations outside of a school book drive. However, there are a number of groups who will: Goodwill Industries or Habitat for Humanity. If you have high school or university textbooks try Textbooks for Change and Canadian School Book Exchange.

Contact us image
Contact us

To start a book drive, complete the SCHOOL INFORMATION FORM under Teacher Resources” and submit to: sonyawhite@​oneworldschoolhouse.​org.

Receive your boxes and supplies image
Receive your boxes and supplies

We ship bundled cardboard boxes (12 in. x 12 in. x 18 in.) in flat bundles of 20 to your school. (Just e-mail us should you need more.) You’ll also receive 3 large posters to promote your event.

Execute your book drive image
Execute your book drive

10 school days is ideal for a book drive. Pick your start and stop dates and we’ll drop off flat boxes and pick up your packed boxes to suit your schedule. Use our posters to promote your event. A display in the school lobby will remind students to contribute their books before the deadline!

We pick-up your packed boxes image
We pick-up your packed boxes

Give us 3 days notice and Cavalier Transportation, our logistics partner, will pick-up your packed boxes. Please ask a few students to take your boxes to the curbside. The driver will take your students’ donations to our warehouse in Bolton.

It's a long story
Books packed by kids in Ontario for their peers in the Caribbean travel 1,800 kilometres by road then another 5,275 kilometres by container ship.

Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.

Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006)

The future is always beginning now. Each moment is a place you've never been.

Poet (1934-2014)

All I know is what I have words for.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Find 52: The Road to Reading in Grenada
In February 2015, Richard ran right around Grenada, a distance of 52 miles. 52 "Mile Captains" raised $40,000.

If we want to make this world a better place, then we have to become better ourselves. There is no easy route.

And the Winner in Montserrat is....
Marlaina White (Left) announces the Second Annual Rainforest of Reading Award to Illustrator Jan Dolby (Middle) and Author Joyce Grant for "Gabby."

At the moment that we persuade a child, any child to cross...that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever.


If you get the right [words] in the right order, you might nudge the world a little.

Sir Tom Stoppard
Out of this world
After reading "Postcards from Outer Space' a student in Montserrat is inspired to be the next Chris Hadfield.

Too many people grow up. That's the trouble with the world.


Life is too deep for words so don't try to describe it, just live it.

C. S. Lewis
Author, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.

Author (1810-1889)

It is by acts and not ideals that people live.

Author (1844-1924)

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

Philosopher, Psychologist (1842-1910)

Reading brings us unknown friends.

Novelist (1799-1850)
Challenging literacy development
Although English is the official language of St. Lucia, Krewyol is spoken as much or more outside the classroom.

I read. I travel. I become.

St. Lucian author & 1992 Nobel Laureate

Start some kind words on its travels. There is no telling where the good it may do will stop.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell
Humanitarian, Medical Missionary (1865-1940)

If you believe what you read...you can, quite literally, believe anything.

Professor, Philosopher (1912-1991)