Barnes & Noble raising funds for educators

NASHUA – Barnes & Noble in Nashua has teamed up with the Nashua Education Foundation to host a book fair that works to raise money for educators to receive grants.

On Nov. 30, a percentage of nearly everything purchased in the Nashua Barnes & Noble store, location at 235 Daniel Webster Highway, will go toward NEF providing local teachers with grants. There also will be different activities occurring that afternoon.

“Depending on how much money is brought in, will determine what percentage goes back to the organization,” said Janice Wiers, community business development manager at Barnes & Noble.

She said when people come into the store that day, a percentage of almost anything they purchase will go back to the nonprofit organization.

“There are exceptions, like gift cards and membership and shipping fees that aren’t applied,” Wiers said.

However, even cafe purchases go toward the fundraiser, so coffee and snack purchases go toward teachers receiving these grants, as well as book purchases.

“We also have Cheesecake Factory cheesecake and, depending on how much is sold, some money from each cheesecake will go back to the organization,” Wiers said.

People can choose which date they’d like to pick their cheesecake up.

“Basically, how it works is when you’re in the store, say that you’re here to support the book fair or present the voucher number, 12257416,” Wiers said. That number then identifies that the purchase is going toward that specific book fair.

Although the book fair on the Nov.30 is the main event in raising funds for NEF, people still can use that voucher number to raise money for those grants when shopping online or in-store. It can be applied from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5.

“We want people in that day, it’s the more important part. We encourage people to come in and see the events, which include guest readings from Mayor Jim Donchess, Superintendent Jahmal Mosley, a reading from Santa and an author will be visiting,” Wiers said.

Michael G. Lewis will be dressed in full pirate gear reading one of his books, “The Great Pirate Christmas Battle.” He’ll be available for a book signing, as well.

Wiers said the kids love him, and that there also will be a strings group performing at the store, too.

The guest readings, strings performance and author visit are scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“If anyone wants to donate books during the event, they can donate books to NEF, as well,” Wiers said.

This is the seventh year that NEF has been providing grants to Nashua teachers. The foundation has been around for almost nine years, but it took a little while to get their nonprofit status going and raise enough funds where they could award these grants. It’s not known at this time how many teachers will be receiving grants.

President of NEF Beth Kreick said it depends on how much money teachers are applying for versus how much they’re able to fundraise.

“Some grant cycles, we’re asked for $40,000 and others we’re asked for $4,000. It’s different each time,” Kreick said.

She said the committee sits and goes through applications to see which ones meet their mission and what they find might be beneficial to the kids and teachers in Nashua. Back in the spring, NEF awarded seven grants to teachers.

“We are very excited about the Barnes & Noble fundraiser. They’re the perfect business to partner with. I think it’s going to be a great day for NEF and Nashua school kids. It’ll be a fun event for them to attend,” Kreick said.