Want to give the gift of reading? Our Top 5 Book Charities To Support
How did you come to love reading? Love books?
What parent, grandparent, teacher or major influence in your childhood introduced you to the world of books?
Two-thirds of children living in poverty in the U.S. have no books at home. There are many charitable organizations doing amazing work to reduce that number. They are focused on putting books in the hands of kids all over the world.
A handful of charitable book organizations on the front lines are listed below. Whether you support these book charities or give the gift of reading in other ways, paying it forward can make a big difference in the life of a child.
Little Free Library is a nonprofit that builds community, inspires readers, and expands book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led little libraries. Through Little Free Library book exchanges, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Little Free Library book-sharing boxes play an essential role by providing 24/7 access to books (and encouraging a love of reading!) in areas where books are scarce. Check out some of the amazing little free libraries spread around the world: https://www.pinterest.com/ltlfreelibrary/_created/. Start a little free library of your own: https://littlefreelibrary.org/start/.
Pajama Program was founded in 2001 by Genevieve Piturro. Inspired by her experience reading to children waiting for foster care placement in New York City, she realized many of the children did not have pajamas. She began collecting them from her family and friends and delivered them to the children herself. Her initiative grew into a nationwide effort to provide comforting bedtimes to all children, everywhere. Since then, Pajama Program has provided over 6.5 million cozy pajamas and inspiring storybooks to children nationwide who are experiencing challenges beyond their control, and we share critical resources with parents and caregivers to support children at bedtime.
First Book has distributed more than 185 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income communities in more than 30 countries. First Book currently reaches an average of 5 million children every year and supports more than one in three of the estimated 1.3 million classrooms and programs serving children in need. First Book members work in classrooms, after school and summer or early childhood programs, shelters and health clinics, libraries, community programs, military support programs, and other settings serving a majority of children in need.
Open Books has worked directly with tens of thousands of students and reached hundreds of thousands more through book grant programs, community events, and literacy partnerships. Open Books focuses on the transformative impact of literacy through reading and writing programs, special events, store sales, team growth, donor visits, and volunteer engagement.
SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more. Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, caregivers and educators worldwide. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners. Storyline Online is a program of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization that relies entirely on gifts, grants and donations to fund Storyline Online and produce all of its videos.