Who We Are:
Books4Bham is a student-led, grassroots nonprofit initiative to promote educational equity in the Greater Birmingham Area. We conduct an annual book drive of educational materials for donation to local organizations, including:
– Test Preparation Materials
– Children’s Books
– Vintage Magazines
… and so much more!
We welcome all educational donations in good condition. For the dates & locations of the 2018-2019 book drive, please visit the contact page. Last year, we raised over a thousand materials for the youth of Birmingham City. Please consider supporting our organization through your contribution!
To make donation easy, we schedule regular pickups free of charge from your home. Contact us to make an appointment. Please also contact us if your school or organization would like to be a direct recipient of our materials–– we’re always looking for new partners. We have been featured by the Over the Mountain Journal, Vestavia Voice, GirlSpring Foundation, AL.com, Vestavia Hills Magazine, and Vestavia Hills City Schools.
A Calling to Make a Difference:
Throughout our history, Birmingham has been a city marked by inequity. This disparity is especially pronounced in the realm of education–– often resulting in schools with low funding and especially poor standardized testing scores, the latter of which is directly tied to the amount of funding a school can receive. This vicious cycle means that poorly performing schools may have access to fewer resources.
Books4Bham is an initiative that draws on pre-existent resources in order to provide high quality educational materials at no cost. By giving students at affluent schools the opportunity to donate books they no longer use, our approach is simultaneously cost-effective and productive at mitigating not just the effects of educational inequity, but the issue itself.
Our technique is also unique in that we emphasize on cross-communal dialogue and relationship building–– instead of the giver/recipient binary power-relationship, we adhere to an inclusive approach by focusing on collaboration and communication between different communities.
Network of Supporters:
About Our Founder:
Growing up in Birmingham, founder Mei Mei Sun was always acutely aware of the neosegregation that plagues the Magic City. As a student at Vestavia Hills High School, she was introduced to the devastating effects of the discrimination and divide–– carryovers from the legacy of segregation–– that still characterize much of Birmingham today. “The suburban area where I lived seemed almost a different world than the rest of Birmingham,” she remembers. “People had taken to calling it The Tragic City, instead of The Magic City.” Gathering what she had learned about inequity and how to combat it, Mei Mei began to meet with city leaders to research the causes that perpetuated this broken system. Books4Bham is the result.
“I was fortunate enough to grow up in a household that highly valued education, and also had the necessary resources to support my needs. So did many of my friends at school, and often their test preparation materials went straight to waste afterwards.” They were throwing away resources that other kids desperately needed, but often could not access. She sought to change that. “My school district affords me limitless opportunities for academic excellence, and education is the springboard out of poverty and into prosperity–– I want to ensure that every other student gets that chance, too.”
Outside of Books4Bham, Mei Mei is a senior at Vestavia Hills High School. She actively participates in Lincoln-Douglas debate, of which she is the 2018 Alabama State Champion. She has also received the Gold Award in literary nonfiction for the American Southeast from Scholastic Magazine, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Unity from the Birmingham City Council for her piece on racial inequality. Aside from grassroots activism, she enjoys watching true-crime documentaries, scoping out the best dim-sum restaurants, and poking fun at Carter for playing Fortnite. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Web Developer :
A small business owner and tech industry enthusiast, Birmingham-native and UC Berkeley student Carter Gaché pursues his passion for entrepreneurship through web design. He hopes that you all find this site enjoyable, and feel free to reach out to him about any website or other business related matters though email.