Service Learning Project: Books to the Trail

Each year, through generous donations from businesses and schools, students in need receive new books to read.  Most of the schools in need are along the Iditarod Trail or other communities in Alaska, but we try to include schools in need anywhere in the United States this project.

We are now accepting applicants from classrooms or businesses that are wishing to help inspire students to read more books by donating new books to schools in need.

Participating ‘partners’ in Books to the Trail create a project in their community or school to raise funds for new books.  Very often, the participating schools along with sending new books, also send brand new school supplies, too.  New books, brand new pencils, crayons, markers, and other supplies are exciting and fun items to receive!

We match the partner with a school in need.

If you are interested in being a partner in this project, send an email to be assigned the school in need. We’ll give you information about the ‘needs’ of the school you are assigned and other ways you can help inspire students to read, write, complete art projects, or become more engaged in school projects.

No matter your location, to be listed as as school in need, please send us an email.

Books to the Trail Project Information

Help bring new books to students!  Participation is easy!

1.  Sign up to be a participating school. You will be assigned a school in need.

2.  Hold a fundraiser to purchase new books for students.

3.  Send books in January, February, or March as a part of our Iditarod Books to the Trail project.

View a PDF Project Document to learn more about the project.

*Most of our books go to schools in Alaska.  If you are a school ‘elsewhere’ and in need of new books or school materials and supplies, please let us know so that you can be placed on our list for future book distribution.

*Most participating schools create a scrapbook of their school, community, and state to send to ‘their school’.  More often than not, the participating school sends other school supplies, too.  (NEW ITEMS: Colorful, fun pencils, small notebooks, markers, crayons, stickers, or other necessary and fun to use school items.)

*Most participating schools take book orders during their fundraiser and have the books sent to ‘their school’ directly from the book company.  Some schools collect the actual books and have them shipped to ‘their school’.  This project can be designed in a way that best meets the participating school’s needs.   All projects result in new books to students who need them.  Students and teachers appreciate receiving the books.  Thanks to all past participating schools!


Classroom Experiences with Books to the Trail…

Books to the Trail— In Action in New York

From the teachers….

“The seventh grade students at O’Rourke Middle School in Burnt Hills, NY are super psyched to be helping out with the “Books to the Trail” project.  Right now, they are in the process of collecting money to purchase copies of the book Woodsong by Gary Paulsen and have them sent through Scholastic Books to students along the Iditarod trail.

After reading Woodsong where Paulsen describes his adventures training for and running the 1983 Iditarod, and studying more about the race on, O’Rourke’s seventh graders wanted to help out. The initial idea came from O’Rourke seventh grader Wyatt Sawyer who asked his teacher if the class could sponsor a musher. Other students were immediately interested, and since Gary Paulsen was on the list of registered mushers for 2009, they wanted to support him in any way possible.

Diane Johnson, education coordinator of the Iditarod, told O’Rourke that Paulsen would rather that any donations to support him be sent to schools along the Iditarod trail in the form of books. O’Rourke students loved this idea, especially knowing that they would be able to share their own wonderful Woodsong experience with other students, and support Paulsen at the same time. They are thrilled to be making a big difference in a small way.”