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The mission of the Books for Kids Foundation is to promote literacy among all children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. Books for Kids creates libraries, donates books, and partners with literacy programs to develop the critical early foundation and skills which young children need to be successful in life.
1986, the Books for Kids Foundation was created by a few New Yorkers who recognized that some children must surmount enormous disadvantages when entering school because they have not had adequate access to books or been encouraged to read. What began as an informal project to collect and distribute 1,000 books to needy children for the holidays quickly took on larger dimensions when we placed 2,000 books in the first year and 9,000 in the next. Books donated by individuals began to be supplemented by donations from publishers, and the numbers of books distributed grew to millions. In the mid-1990s, Books for Kids began creating libraries in child care centers, after school programs, health care facilities and detention centers where books were scarce. At first, libraries were stocked with donated books. Today the 50+ Books for Kids Libraries in the tri-state area and beyond are filled with book collections customized to the ages, interests and backgrounds of the children served. Availability of books is a key factor for high achievement in reading and literacy. Illiteracy, on the other hand, is linked to low self esteem, unemployment and crime. By making good books part of the everyday lives of more children, Books for Kids not only seeks to increase their chances for success at school but also in life.
- Nell O'Donnell
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