Reading is the foundation of who we are and who we can become. There are many, many organizations that reach out to communities to assure that reading programs and books are in place for both children and adults. I've listed three of my favorites below. Please have a look and learn more about what you can do.


Room To Read

Room to Read partners with local communities throughout the developing world to establish schools, libraries, and other educational infrastructure. We seek to intervene early in the lives of children in the belief that education is a lifelong gift that empowers people to ultimately improve socioeconomic conditions for their families, communities, countries, and future generations. Through the opportunities that only an education can provide, we strive to break the cycle of poverty, one child at a time.

To learn more about Room to Read or to make a donation, please

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort to benefit the children of her home county in east Tennessee. Dolly wanted to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families. She wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.

So she decided to mail a brand new, age appropriate book each month to every child under 5 in Sevier County. With the arrival of every child’s first book, the classic The Little Engine That Could ™, every child could now experience the joy of finding their very own book in their mail box. These moments continue each month until the child turns 5—and in their very last month in the program they receive Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come.

Needless to say the experience has been a smashing success. So much so that many other communities clamored to provide the Imagination Library to their children. Dolly thought long and hard about it and decided her Foundation should develop a way for other communities to participate. The Foundation asked a blue ribbon panel of experts to select just the right books and secured Penguin Group USA to be the exclusive publisher for the Imagination Library. Moreover a database was built to keep track of the information.

Consequently, in March of 2000 she stood at the podium of The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and revealed the plan for other communities to provide the Imagination Library to their children. And as only Dolly can say it, she wanted to “put her money where her mouth is – and with such a big mouth that’s a pretty large sum of money” and provide the books herself to the children of Branson, Missouri and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – communities where her businesses now operate. If other leaders in their communities were willing to do the same, well something big might just happen.

You know what? It did!!

To learn more about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library or to make a donation, please


First Book is a nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. We provide an ongoing supply of new books to children participating in community-based mentoring, tutoring, and family literacy programs.

First Book was founded in 1992. The First Book model was developed to leverage the work of local heroes who reach children through existing literacy programs in a variety of settings, such as Head Start centers, libraries, soup kitchens, churches, housing projects, and afterschool initiatives. Working through this vast network of organizations, First Book plays a critical role in transforming the quality of preschool and after-school programs nationwide.

First Book's model is national in scope and local in impact. In our first year, First Book distributed approximately 12,000 books in three communities. Since that time, First Book has distributed more than 50 million books to children in over 3,000 communities around the country.

In our first decade, First Book converted a promising distribution concept into a premier national literacy organization. During this initial phase of development, First Book experienced a nearly vertical growth curve and established a broad range of strategic corporate, government, and nonprofit partnerships. The success of this phase has enabled the organization to build a national reputation and establish the foundation for long-term growth and development.

First Book now is poised to enter a new stage of development that includes new national initiatives and international expansion. Through its committed staff, heroic local Advisory Board volunteers, and a strong national Board of Directors and Advisory Council, First Book has accomplished its initial goals and has verified the impact of our work through an extensive evaluation performed by Louis Harris.

Through our success, we have established credibility in the literacy, governmental, and corporate arenas and built a strategic set of alliances that have positioned First Book to reach an unlimited number of children and communities in the coming years.

To learn more about First Book or to make a donation, please CLICK HERE