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!