More Information

What is the Children’s Book

The Children’s Book Project, a nonprofit corporation with 501(c)(3) status, helps disadvantaged children learn to read by providing children and their shelters, schools, daycare and community centers with books and other resources. Since our beginning in January 1992, the Children’s Book Project has given over 2,000,000 free books to hundreds of facilities serving thousands of children throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Why donate books?
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 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.

What type of books do we collect?
We collect new and gently used children’s books for children of all ages — infants to teenagers. We also collect and distribute other resources that aid literacy including curriculum materials, magazines, dictionaries, posters, CDs and DVDs.

Where are the books collected?
Many of the books distributed by the Children’s Book Project are ones children have outgrown and donate at book drives at selected schools and other local institutions. Donations are also solicited from retailers, publishers, individuals and organizations. Many local businesses, such
as juice bars and coffee shops, help us collect books by keeping one of our collection bags on site.

What happens to collected books?
After the books are collected, they are sorted according to subject matter and reading level and then distributed. Many books go to 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 can come to our warehouse and select the books they need.

Programs (go to Programs for more information):
Our ongoing goal is to work with other organizations to encourage parents to read to their children. Through our Read Aloud Program, we have given thousands of books to programs that are actively promoting reading aloud and need children’s books to give to families who cannot afford them. In addition, thanks to an anonymous donor, we have been able to provide hundreds of children from the community with the opportunity to go to a bookstore for the first time and select and purchase books for themselves.

Organization history:
The Children’s Book Project began in 1992 with a book drive at Rooftop Elementary School in San Francisco. Parents were asked to donate their children’s unwanted books. Over 1,400 books were collected and then given to facilities that needed them. By that year’s end, the Children’s Book Project (then known as Second Reading) had demonstrated that it was a successful project — 3,000 books had been collected and distributed. We currently give away approximately 100,000 carefully selected, children’s books every year.

Organization staff:
The Children’s Book Project staff is comprised of an Executive Director, who is a credentialed reading specialist, a Programs Manager, part time staff members and an active Board of Directors. Many volunteers work with the program sorting books, running book drives and performing other tasks as needed.

Organization funding:
Private foundations, funds and charitable trusts currently fund the Children’s Book Project. In addition, the Project receives support from the corporate sector and individual donors.

Children Need Books!

I am a first grade teacher who is desperate to get children’s books into the homes of my students,
many of whom come from countries where books are beyond the reach of all but the elite.
I want parents to know that having books in their homes is both possible and important for their children.
Russ Henry Teacher Bayshore Elementary School