July 31, 2019




Thank you for all you do for Storybook. Can you believe that we have over 40 volunteers now in central Arkansas? Next week I will submit the personal info of our new volunteers to the ADC, so if you have any friends who would like to join us, please get in touch sooner rather than later. The ADC needs your name, date of birth, social security number and driver’s license number with state of issue.


To help get the word out about our program, there are several upcoming opportunities. I try to keep the Event calendar on our website up to date, so you can always check in there, too. Please get in touch if you’d like to join any of the events below or if you are part of a group which we could speak to. We’ve spoken to educators, criminal defense lawyers, church goers, etc.


Here's the Doodle poll  https://doodle.com/poll/2cmmtq538debv9gu where you can indicate your availability for each event. On the left side of the page, click the Plus sign next to the  number of participants, type your name in the box, put a check in the box for every event that you can attend (click twice to get a yellow check mark if you are a "maybe" and then hit Send when you're done.


  • August 21, 1:45pm-3pm - KABF 88.3 radio interview on the program “It Could Be You.” Anyone want to come with me to talk about their Storybook experience or what brings you to the program? It will be a MUCH more interesting program if we have a few people sharing their perspectives.


  • September 9, 6:30pm – Presentation to the women’s group of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (20900 Chenal Pkwy, Little Rock, AR 72223).


  • October 14, 6:30-7:30, location TBD – Presentation to La Moderne, a group of volunteers which ushers at the Robinson Theater and donates its proceeds to local organizations. La Moderne gave us a generous donation a couple years ago, and we’re hoping to be a recipient again.


  • October 29 – Tabling at the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association Annual Conference at the Benton Convention Center


  • Sometime in December gift wrapping at Barnes & Noble for tips as donations to Storybook.


Our next dates in the Wrightsville prison are Wednesday October 2 (women) and Friday October 4 (men). Unless anything changes, we’ll gather at 8:30am and leave the guard house at 8:45am. If you can go on either day, please let me know so I can plan accordingly. We’ll finish about 1pm on Wednesday and 11am on Friday.


If you are interested in going to the Newport prison, our next date is Wednesday September 4 (women). We meet at the McPherson guard house at 8:30am. If you’d like to carpool from Little Rock, please get in touch. We leave Little Rock about 6:15am. If you’d like to be on the list for Newport, you’ll also get an email from our board president, Carolyn Morgan, about upcoming visits to McPherson.


If you’re interested in going to the Pulaski County Jail to record readers, we are going August 28 and August 30 at 8am. I expect it to just take a couple of hours. 


We are packing books and CDs on Saturday August 17 from 9am-11am at St. Michael's Episcopal Church on Cantrell Road.  Many hands make light work!


If you are a social media type, please like and share our Facebook page (The Storybook Project of Arkansas) and follow us on Twitter (Storybook Project of Arkansas). Post about your experience with Storybook if you are so inclined. If you are good at social media and would like to help us (me) with it, please get in touch. There is so much room for improvement!


If you have fundraising or event ideas, please share them with us. The Storybook Project is 20 years old this year! We’d love to host a fundraiser to celebrate this milestone.


A couple exciting developments from just this past week: Goodwill gave us many more big boxes of new books from the Books4Kids program, and St. Michael’s Episcopal Church (which lets us store books, train new volunteers and pack books and CDs) gave us $500. This will be about enough just to pay for postage for the books we’re sending out in July from Wrightsville. In fact, we have recorded 224 women with 398 kids and 123 men with 178 kids so far this year. Last week, we recorded about one-third of the women and 20% of the men in the Hawkins unit, which is awesome.


I know that you are already giving Storybook your precious time and energy, but if you feel like you want to donate to our program, one of the best ways to do that is to sign up for a recurrent $10 monthly gift through our Facebook page. If you have friends who are interested in our program but can’t join us in the prison, please let them know about this as well. It costs us about $10 for each book and CD which we mail out. If you have a birthday coming up and would like to do a Facebook fundraiser for Storybook, we’d be grateful.


Lastly, if you are really into prison outreach, it’s a good idea to attend ADC training in England, Arkansas, so that you can get a badge giving you easier access. I can put you in touch with the training coordinator if you’re interested.


Thanks again,


Denise Chai

501 590 0501