Traveling back from an afternoon in Massachusetts, I stopped for quick break at exit 32 on I-84 (Queen Street) in Connecticut. Lucky for me, I noticed the Southington Goodwill Store store. In ten minutes, I collected a bagful of titles worth bringing back to school.
This Easter Seals Goodwill Industries store opened in January 2006 with 8100 square feet of space. According to the website, the mission of the store is to “to enhance employment, educational, social and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities and other challenges in the greater New Haven area.”
The prices for the books at this location were a little more expensive than the $1.00 or $2.00 books at the Goodwill Stores in Danbury, Brookfield, and New Milford. Maybe the Easter Seals affiliation has a different pricing criteria? Books here were marked $2.99, $1.99 or .99. These prices are still far below retail, and there were many bargains I left on the shelves for others to find. The organization of the books was excellent at this location. Titles were correctly placed in genres (non-fiction, fiction, children’s literature, cookbooks, etc) and the quality of the books was very good.
I located five core texts: The Giver by Lois Lowery, No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman (Grade 7), Nothing but the Truth by Avi (grade 8), Night by Elie Wiesel and an edition of Brave New World (grade 10) by Aldous Huxley that matches our collection.
I also located a copy of Soldier Boys by Dean Hughes for our War and Conflict unit and two copies of A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson for our junior year Adventure unit or Transcendentalism study and a copy of Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom for Coming of Age. Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton, Peak by Roland Smith and two texts by Mike Lupica, Miracle on 49th Street and Heat, can be placed in literature circles for grade 7. Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire, and Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (we now have four copies) will go into 9th grade independent choice. Finally, I am looking to include a historical fiction unit in middle school; Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi is a possible choice.
While I was on the webite for the Southington, CT store, I noted that Goodwill sells books on Amazon under the heading of Ivy League Books. The proceeds from sales on this site “help Easter Seals Goodwill Industries to enhance employment, educational, social and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities and other challenges.” Visit books.ctgoodwill.org to see a list of available titles.
The Easter Seals branch of Goodwill Industries also “owns and operates 11 secondhand retail stores and 1 outlet throughout south-central and eastern Connecticut. All proceeds from store sales directly support the mission of Easter Seals Goodwill Industries. The stores also provide employment to Easter Seals Goodwill Industries’ clients with disabilities and other special needs.”
I am always pleased to shop at Goodwill. The budget for my department is stretched even farther with great bargains, and all proceeds help a worthy organization. I will make sure that Queen Street in a regular place for me to take a break on 1-84 because shopping at the Southington Goodwill location was a win-win!