Donate your gently used children’s books to help make a literacy night

The UFT Charter School in East New York is trying to do a book giveaway on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 to encourage students and their families to read together. The school is a Title 1, high needs school (K-8th grade, students ages 5 through 12) in East New York. Please scan your shelves for books your kids no longer need. Or buy a copy of your favorite book from when you were a young reader and mail them in. The only caution is that the nonfiction needs to be up-to-date. Also please do not donate books with underlining. The books may be sent to the address below. Book rate is extremely reasonable. Please try to mail them to arrive at the school no later than March 3rd.

The UFT Charter School

Attn: Teresita/ReadThis book donation

300 Wyona Street

Brooklyn, NY 11207

And if you are able to donate books, please email us at to let us know how many books you are sending. We will let the school know what level of help they can expect. Thank you for helping young readers! (And please spread the word)

A ReadThis member helps child hospital literacy program build back after Sandy (still building back)

Here is the thank you from the hospital literacy program. One round of donations made a big difference:

I want to thank you for your ongoing support for our program. [ReadThis member] Sarah Vining… called me last week to tell me she had been collecting children’s books to donate to a program in need. She also mentioned that you suggested for her donation to come to us. Yesterday we received 15 boxes of beautiful books. And I know more boxes are on their way. Last year, we lost our entire book inventory due to the flooding we had during Super Storm Sandy. The journey to recovery has been amazing and encouraging as we’ve found so much support from caring individuals and organizations like yours.

Last November we were featured in PBS NewsHour and a lot of people learned about our program that way. Two weeks ago, they aired the piece again. Learning Matters did a fantastic job of filming and putting this piece together. If you didn’t have a chance to see it, here is the link:

Thank you once again for your support. Let me know if you would be interested in coming for a visit at some point so you can see the program in action.

Have a great day!


Claudia Aristy,


Children of Bellevue’s Reach Out and Read

Thank you from South Dakota. You got kids reading…

In 2012, ReadThis members donated 95 new wishlist books to the Oglala reservation library in South Dakota.

The Oglala Lakota College Library, with its several branches, is the only community library for the entire Pine Ridge Reservation. Located in the beautiful but harsh Badlands of South Dakota, Pine Ridge has the lowest per capita income in the U.S. and not a single bookstore. The librarians are working hard to improve services for children–and you helped them greatly by buying they wanted for their young readers.

ReadThis would like to thank our board member, Katha Pollitt, for all she did to organize this drive; Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn for posting the wishlist and being such a wonderful partner in encouraging people to buy the books and get them out to the reservation; and we would especially like to thank our members who purchased the 95 books. What a great contribution to these young readers! Here is a thank you from the librarian at Oglala, which we received just before the holidays:

This is just a note to the best of the best…..all of you out there that care about kids and care about a  library…… Thank you so much for your interest and generosity in our young people on the Pine Ridge Reservation!!! We are always looking for ways to get ‘our’ kids into the reading spirit and these books were absolutely wonderful! We send many, many good wishes to you and our friends for all you do,  happy days and holidays forever after!!!   Rest easy and stay well my friends!!!!

Michelle May, Director

OLC Woksape Tipi Academic & Public Library
Kyle, South Dakota

Send great, gently used or new children’s books to a Sandy daycare center in need!

We should be able to do this easily!: A daycare center on the Lower East Side of Manhattan was greatly affected by Sandy and was completely flooded out. They have lost all of their books and materials for the children. They have approximately 30-40 children, ages 2-5. If you can donate great books (new or gently used) for that age group, please email us at and let us know approximately how many you will be sending (very inexpensive Book Rate) or drop off. We will give you all the contact information that way because we are trying to make sure the center gets only as many books as they can handle. Thank you!!

The Lower East Side, after Sandy, not far from the daycare center.

A perfect moment to buy a book for a kid

We are trying to raise books from the wishlist at the Oglala Library, which serves people of all ages.

The Oglala Lakota College Library, with its several branches, is the only community library for the entire Pine Ridge Reservation. Located in the beautiful but harsh Badlands of South Dakota, Pine Ridge has the lowest per capita income in the U.S. and not a single bookstore. The librarians are working hard to improve services for children–and you can help by donating new books for them to borrow.
The books listed here are those requested by the library. You can purchase them from Greenlight Bookstore and they will be shipped to the library free of charge. (Please note the quantities needed for each title; quantities will be updated as books are purchased.)

Here’s the link to the registry:

Thank you for all of your help! And we will let you know when we’ve gotten the job done.

Need a coffee? It could help buy a book.

This very adorable independent bookstore in Cedarhurst, New York, has volunteered to help ReadThis projects by donating profits from their coffee sales to buy books for kids in need of great reading material. If you are in that area, please stop by the store, order up your Joe and know that the money will be helping get books to kids in under-served public schools.

Here is the link to the store: We will let you know in a few months what your coffee buys.

Wrap It Up at Greenlight This Saturday!

Come to the superb Greenlight Bookstore in Ft. Greene this Saturday, December 17, to knock out your holiday shopping—and get it lovingly gift-wrapped by ReadThis’s crack team of scotch-tape warriors! All tips will go to ReadThis to buy books for a library or classroom in need. You’ll support a local bookseller, expand access to good books, and marvel at the ribbon-curling technique of New York City’s leading lit nerds! Greenlight: 686 Fulton Street (at So. Portland), Brooklyn

14 Days to Buy 48 books for these Harlem kids

NYC students competing in a Battle of the Books competition last year

For as little as $5.99 you can get a book into the hands of a 4th or 5th grader in West Harlem. These kids want to compete in Battle of the Books, but they need help getting the books. Can we buy them a total of 48 books in the next 14 days so they are ready to compete?

This link takes you to the wishlist at an independent bookstore in Brooklyn:

Listen to ReadThis – and volunteer

Jeffrey Rotter (left) at a ReadThis book drive event

If you want to hear what ReadThis has done and hopes to do in the next months, listen to this NYU radio interview with ReadThis board members, Jeffrey Rotter and Biz Mitchell.


Young people do read. If they have books.

National Book Award Winners in all categories for 2010

Through ReadThis, our friends at the National Book Foundation once again donated Young Adult books to a school that needed them. A full 138 books went off to a public middle school in Brooklyn. You can read here how much the donation meant. Thank you, National Book Foundation:

Dear ReadThis and the National Book Foundation,

I am writing to you to express my heartfelt gratitude for your generous donation of books
to the Grade 8 Humanities Program at KAPPA V middle school in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Three large boxes full of brand new books arrived in my school’s office addressed to me.  I am not exaggerating when I say that there were audible “oohs” and “ahhs” from the few students present in my room as I opened the first box.  Not surprisingly, three students asked to sign-out books they found interesting on the spot.

Teaching is difficult enough under ideal circumstances.  Having taught at a Title I school
(almost all of our students are entitled to reduced-price or free meals) for the past 5 years,
I have learned to deal with the additional challenge of scraping together most of my
classroom resources on my own.  On more than one occasion, I have used my personal
savings to purchase class sets of novels I wanted to share with my students.  With all New
York public schools facing drastic budget cuts, asking administrators to purchase reading
materials would certainly prove to be a naive exercise in futility.

With the books you have provided for me, I can supplement my somewhat worn classroom
library with a great selection of new, high-interest novels and non-fiction for my
Humanities students.  Despite the growing obsession with test preparation and “teaching
to the test,” study after study continues to prove the same thing: independent reading is
THE best form of test preparation available to our students.  With hair-trigger attention
spans, our students will only continue to read independently when provided with high-
interest reading like the materials you have sent me.  I look forward to sharing these
resources with my students and fellow teachers over the course of the coming academic
year, and cannot thank you enough for your time and effort to brighten up my classroom
and my students’ lives with your much-needed gift.

Andrew L. Mills
Grade 8 Humanities – KAPPA V (MS 518)