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 2.9 million books for children in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

Our Staff 

Alexander Braunstein, Book Hauler
Emily Maksymiuk, Special Projects
Melanie Mickelson, Read Aloud Director 
Kathleen Wydler, Book Bank Manager

Board of Directors

Risa Schwartz, President
Annelise Goldberg, Treasurer
Catherine Weiser, Secretary
Sam Wilson, Controller

Roni Diamant-Wilson
Owen Linderholm
Robert Lord
Maureen McCarthy
Melanie Mickelson
Cambria Minott
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 donations of 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. Teachers, caseworkers, and other community workers come to our Book Bank and select the books they need for the children they serve, many of whom have never owned a book. Learn how to give books, how to get books, and other ways to support us.