About Us

Our Mission

The Children’s Book Project was founded to help build literacy by providing new and gently used books for free to children who need them. Since 1992, we have given away over 2.6 million books for children in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

Our Staff

Alex Braunstein, Book Hauler
Melanie Mickelson, Read Aloud Manager
Dawn Nakano, Development Manager
Kathleen Wydler, Site Manager

Board of Directors

Risa Schwartz, President
Annelise Goldberg, Treasurer
Catherine Weiser, Secretary
Owen Linderholm
Agnes Lord
Kathryn Olney
Cassandra Perkins

Vicki Pollack, Founder & Director Emerita

Our Story

The Children’s Book Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps children learn to read by providing free books and other resources to children and their shelters, schools, daycares, and community centers. Research shows that children to whom books are read have an easier time learning to read than those who don’t have this experience. In addition, evidence shows that reading aloud to children actually helps their brain development. However, many children in the Bay Area and beyond live in homes without books and attend schools and programs where books are in short supply. Encouraging reading is not enough when families do not have books.

We collect new and gently used books for children of all ages, from infants to teens. After collection, we sort the books according to subject matter and reading level. Many books are selected by childcare centers, homeless shelters, and schools. Others are given directly to children, many of whom have never owned a book. Teachers, caseworkers, and other community workers come to our book site and select the books they need for the children they serve. Learn how to donate books, how to obtain books, and other ways to support us.