About

ReadThis is devoted to promoting access to books and a love of reading wherever needed.

The all-volunteer group was launched by a small group of writers and editors in 2008, but now has almost 2,000 members and has inspired the service of over 800 active volunteers. ReadThis has sent many thousands of books to public schools without libraries, troops overseas, hospital pediatric wards, homeless shelters and on.

We operate without overhead, relying on members to volunteer their talents to help readers everywhere.

Board: Toby Bryce, Ada Calhoun, Kim France, Elizabeth Gilbert, Peter Harper, Elliott Holt, Judy Hottensen, Biz Mitchell, Sara Nelson, Paul O’Donnell, Katha Pollitt, Jeffrey Rotter, Martin Ruiz, Darcey Steinke, Rene Steinke

Founders: Darcey Steinke, Toby Bryce, Rene Steinke, Natalie Standiford, and Biz Mitchell

Learn more about ReadThis by fanning us on Facebook.

Thanks from recent ReadThis recipients:

“We want to thank your organization for the heartfelt donations of all donors and the generosity of Theo Cooper [a 12-year-old ReadThis member who raised over 2500 books for his bar mitzvah good deed] and his family. The collection of donated books has touched every one of our students, each of our classrooms and our students’ families. Theo Cooper’s visit to our school was very important to our kids as well to see such a young man as himself give generously of himself and his time unselfishly….Theo’s and the other donors extensive book donation has provided us the opportunity to supply all fourteen of our classes with four to five baskets of grade level books to be utilized as lending libraries. Many of our students do not have books at home and this provides them with a wonderful opportunity to borrow and read a wide variety of books….Thank you so much! You will never know how much these book mean to our students and how it will impact their lives as readers.  – Yolanda Valez, the vice principal at P.S. 307, Eames Place

“Too often, people comment on how few young people read printed books in this electronic society. You saw that this is not true. What might be true is that many young people cannot afford to own their books in these economic times. Also, many students do not use the public library if they have to walk through an unsafe area to get to one. Circulation has gone up since your books arrived. More students come to the library. It has been a great wonderful first year here. [ReadThis] performs a wonderful service. Please keep it up.” – Geri Ellner, Library Media Specialist, Brooklyn Collegiate

“ Thanks to the generosity and outstanding efforts of your donors and volunteers, our center is fully stocked with books for all ages! At Incarnation Children’s Center, a long-term skilled nursing home for children and teens living with HIV/AIDS,…. books not only allow our kids to escape into reading and stories, away from the stress of their daily lives immersed in chronic illness, but books also inspire them in their educational pursuits and help them visualize their futures as well. Without the support of organizations such as yours, we would not be able to do the work that we do….”

“The books provided to Homes for the Homeless from the ReadThis book drive will be of great use to the children and families we serve. Homes for the Homeless believe that a solid education foundation is a vital component in breaking the devastating cycle of poverty that the residents of our American Family Inn’s find themselves in…The book donation from Read This will help us facilitate literacy programs in our shelters, and provide residents with a full lending library, from which they can improve their reading and literacy skills.”

“For the past three years our school has been without a library or an appropriate space to accommodate a full library. The Leadership Institute … has done its best to provide a quality education to our students, but without a library or computer lab it has been a struggle…. We are amazed that you understood the need schools have for a well stocked library with variety of genres to choose from. We would also like to say thank you to each individual person and institution for selecting books that would be of interest and beneficial to our high school students…. The Leadership Institute wishes to continue this wonderful relationship that supports the fundamental values of providing students with the necessary tools to succeed. Good literature is the best place to start.”

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ReadThis members have:

– created a library of 1,524 books and counting for the Andrew Jackson Middle School in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, a school reopening this summer for the first time post-Katrina but which had been virtually bookless

– bought 35 copies each of Hamlet, The Chocolate War, and The Joy Luck Club for the Women’s Academy of Excellence in the Bronx to fulfill their wish for classroom use

– bought $500 work of classics for the Women’s Academy of Excellence in the Bronx, and books from some of the girls’ personal wishlists

– bought 50 copies each of The Wisdom of Insecurity and The Bell Jar, for the Science Skills Center High School in Brooklyn to fulfill their wish for those books for classroom use

– built bookshelves for The Leadership Institute in the Bronx, a high-school that had no library until ReadThis supplied one

– delivered over a dozen large boxes of brand new and gently used books for the Science Skills Center High School, a public school in Brooklyn

– through the wedding registry of ReadThis members, purchased  90 wishlist books for a classroom of the Anna Silver School on the Lower East Side of New York; 34 copies of A People’s History of the United States for New York public school, HS 600 for classroom use; 34 books for library use for Anna Silver and the St. Bernard Parish schools; plus 25% of the wish list for Andrew Jackson Middle School

-in partnership with The Center for Fiction, acquired thousands of books (achieving the numbers requested) for the Bellevue Pediatric ward; KEEN New York; Bushwick IMPACT; P.S. 54 in Bedford Stuyvesant; Women’s Academy of Excellence in the Bronx; Kingsbridge Innovative Design School; Science Skills Center High School; P.S. 20, the Anna Silver School; The Women’s Youth Leadership School in Harlem; and The Women’s Youth Leadership School in Queens

– in partnership with The Center for Fiction, purchased 35 copies each of Things Fall Apart, Three Cups of Tea, and 26 copies of Romeo and Juliet for the Women’s Academy of Excellence in the Bronx; 25 copies of How Many for P.S. 20 The Anna Silver School; 35 copies of Lorca poetry anthologies for TWYLS Harlem; and acquired 35 copies of Our Choice by Al Gore, as well as assorted books from the schools’ wish lists

– bought 35 copies of Hamlet for the Women’s Academy of Excellence in the Bronx

-in partnership with The Center for Fiction, acquired the number of books requested for the Bellevue Pediatric ward, KEEN New York, Bushwick IMPACT, P.S. 54 in Bedford Stuyvesant, Women’s Academy of Excellence in the Bronx, Kingsbridge Innovative Design School, Science Skills Center High School, P.S. 20, the Anna Silver School, The Women’s Youth Leadership School in Harlem, and The Women’s Youth Leadership School in Queens

– in partnership with The Center for Fiction, purchased 35 copies each of Things Fall Apart, Three Cups of Tea, and 26 copies of Romeo and Juliet for the Women’s Academy of Excellence in the Bronx; 25 copies of How Many for P.S. 20 The Anna Silver School; 35 copies of Lorca poetry anthologies for TWYLS Harlem; and acquired 35 copies of Our Choice by Al Gore, as well as assorted books from the schools’ wishlists

– bought 50 copies each of The Wisdom of Insecurity and The Bell Jar, for the Science Skills Center High School in Brooklyn

– sent thousands of books to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan who requested them

– donated boxes of fresh books to kids living in poverty for the holidays in 2009
– helped create a full library for Brooklyn Collegiate, a public middle- and high-school that barely had a collection
– created a library for the Leadership Institute, a public high school in the Bronx with no library
– created a full library for Incarnation Children’s Center, a hospital for children and adolescents with HIV/AIDS in Harlem
– bought 30 copies of Animal Farm for an English class at the Leadership Institute so the students could study a whole text together
– gave away 19 boxes of books to a large senior English class at Brooklyn Collegiate for their at-home reading
– hosted a table at Books of Wonder for customers to buy books for an elementary school and middle school
– fulfilled a substantial online wishlist for Brooklyn Collegiate’s library
– sent hundreds of books to the literacy program run through the New York homeless shelter system
– sent boxes of books to the Women’s Academy of Excellence, a public high school in the Bronx
– donated almost 2,000 books to P.S. 307, Eames Place, a public elementary school in the Bronx
– enabled the donation of 15% of online purchases of two wishlists to go back to the schools, thanks to the Book Culture store in NYC

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