The Children’s Book Project gives books to children who need them for equity in literacy, learning, and life. 

We aim to create a more socially just world by providing books for free to under-resourced children. Literacy attainment is directly tied to academic achievement and lifetime outcomes, yet children in economically disadvantaged communities do not have the same access to books as their more affluent peers. The Children’s Book Project is committed to closing the opportunity gap and lifting up our community by raising readers.

Our News

Our 30th Anniversary Celebration: Books Open Your World!

Join us for a FREE community event outside our Book Bank!

• children’s author & illustrator read alouds
• free books
• light refreshments
• kids’ activities
• live entertainment
• check out our new Book Bank
• ceremonial presentation of our 3 millionth free book
…and more!

Saturday, October 15, 2022
11 am – 2 pm
Children’s Book Project
2166 Palou Avenue, San Francisco CA 94124 

RSVP & more details at
RSVP y más detalles en

Stay Cool This Summer

After a visit to our Book Bank, now you can beat the summer heat with yummy ice cream! Local supporters Gus’s Community Market and Smitten Ice Cream have teamed up to offer a signature flavor to benefit the Children’s Book Project. While supplies last, 10% of all sales of Summer Honey Crumble at Gus’s locations will help us give free books to children who need them for equity in literacy, learning, and life. Fulfilling our mission just got that much more delicious!

Highlights from 30 Years of Continuous Service

Founder Vicki Pollack, College Avenue 1998

Read Aloud Director Melanie Mickelson literally grew up with the Children’s Book Project — Vicki’s her mom!

Napoleon Street 2008

Book Bank 2022, back in the Bayview

1992: Children’s Book Project is founded by reading specialist Vicki Pollack in her home in Holly Park in SF, because “encouraging reading is not enough when families do not have books.”
1,400 children’s books given away

1995: Joined by Kathy Katz and volunteers, we give donated books to low-income kids at Bay Area shelters, schools, and public health centers from a rented basement on College Avenue in the Mission, because as Vicki says, “books show you a different world.”
Over 35,000 children’s books given away

2001: “There is a huge need for books,” says Vicki, as public school libraries in the Bay Area close due to several years of budget cuts.
Over 300,000 children’s books given away

2004: Serving more clients than ever with more free books, we move from the outgrown basement to Napoleon Street in the Bayview.
Over 700,000 children’s books given away

2006: “[Children’s Book Project] provides children with books [to] help civilization advance and stave off the forces of chaos,” writes Jon Carroll in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Over 1 million children’s books given away

2014: Vicki and Kathy retire and Napoleon Street rent doubles; our new board, led by President Risa Schwartz and Treasurer Annelise Goldberg, relocates the Children’s Book Project to the Outer Sunset.
Almost 2 million books given away

2020: COVID closes our doors to the public, so we pivot operations to deliver free books to the neediest kids. In November, we reopen our Book Bank in a bigger, brighter rented space on Palou Avenue in the Bayview neighborhood that Vicki says “is full of the most wonderful books, books, books!”

2022: Join us on Saturday, October 15 from 11 am to 2 pm at our community celebration “Books Open Your World,” marking 30 years of service. We’re grateful for the passionate support of all our volunteers, donors, clients, staff, and board members over the years, and honored by your commitment to our mission.
This year, we’ll give away our 3 millionth book!

Our Book Bank is open by appointment to Give Books, Get Books, and Volunteer!
Click the links to schedule online.
Thank you for helping us meet critical needs in challenging times.

Know before you go: Without exception, properly fitted N95 mask required for all inside the Book Bank. We appreciate your understanding and look forward to serving you safely.

Our Clients

…and many more!

Our Supporters

…and many more! 




since the start of the pandemic



so far in 2022



so far in 2022