Nonprofits encourage new readers

How can writers generate literacy? Put books in the hands of others.
By Hillary Casavant | Published: May 15, 2014


The Books for Kids Foundation promotes literacy among all children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children.

The Books for Kids Foundation promotes literacy among all children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children.

Several nonprofit groups throughout the U.S. encourage a love of books among youth and adults, especially those in at-risk environments. Earlier this week, the National Book Foundation awarded five grass-roots organizations with $2,500 toward their missions. By supporting nonprofits such as these, writers help build a community of avid readers who will in turn foster the writers of tomorrow. Keep the chain of support going and check out these five stellar groups. Or create a writing/reading program of your own.

  • Blue Star Families, an organization that supports and empowers military families, began offering the Books on Bases program for military children in 2009. Since its inception the program has hosted more than 214 reading events and distributed over 124,000 free books to families, schools and libraries.
  • Books for Kids Foundation, established in 1986, helps promote literacy among at-risk preschool-aged children. With new libraries, book donations and literacy programs, Books for Kids helps low-income children achieve more positive futures through reading.
  • Chicago Books to Women in Prison helps women in the U.S. prison system read and learn through a wide range of literature. Women who write to the organization receive three free paperback books, a handwritten note and opportunities to enrich their lives both behind and beyond bars.
  • Montana-based nonprofit Hopa Mountain gives local adults and youth the tools they need to improve their education and communities. The group’s Storymakers Program promotes early learning among rural and tribal children ages 0-5 with books translated into the children’s Native languages.
  • Las Comadres para las Americas connects Latinas through the Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club and Teleconference Series. In addition to an annual writers conference, the program provides year-round literary activities and book discussions, giving exposure to Latino authors throughout the world.