Reading For Life



What we do

At Start Reading Now, we host and fund book fairs to help close the achievement gap for low-income kids in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade. Our book fairs help kids create their very own library of 30 books, built over three summers - and it only costs $50 per year, per kid. We served nearly 1,000 kids in our first two years, and in 2017 that number jumped to 4,000 kids at 30 public schools across Minneapolis. We're on track to serve 6,000 kids in 2018 and hopefully expand to a few other school systems. 


Why we do it

Kids from low-income families, on average, have very few books in the home. If you don't have books, you don't read. If you don't read, you fall behind in school. Once you fall behind, you will struggle to catch up, potentially for the rest of your life. Helping kids add new books to their home libraries is a simple, low-cost and effective solution. 


How we do it

In order to get right amount of books to the right kids at the right time, we work with top-notch partners with expertise in education and book fairs. We also rely on amazing volunteers and donors who make our book fairs possible.  


The Real Story


"Of course, the real story is a bit more personal. When I was a kid, we were not exactly rich. Not in the free lunch crowd, but close. Yet every birthday or holiday, there was one thing I could count on - getting at least two books as presents. A book from my dad and one from my uncle. And I sure remember the year my mom saved money so she could buy me a set of serialized history books that I coveted. (Ok, so I was a bit of an odd child!) Every kid should have that chance to read, learn and expand his or her horizons. That's why I am so excited to Start Reading Now."

- Kevin

Start Reading Now Co-Founder and Chair




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    A Start Reading Now Friendsgiving!

    'Tis the season of gathering with friends and loved ones! And to thank you for your support in helping us double in size each year, we’d love for you to join us at Cooper Pub on Weds, Nov 8 from 5 pm - 8 pm. You can RSVP and find more details under "Events" on our Facebook page. 
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    Thoughts from a Book Fair First-Timer

       2017 Book Fair volunteers at Seward Montessori    “Happiness is not a feeling these kids get to feel often enough,” said Mr. May as we tried to calm his excited 1st graders after the book fair. As I smiled and nodded and he went back to shhh’ing his class, his words sunk in and weighed on my heart. Giving out books in Minneapolis’ poorest schools, I saw glimpses of kids who definitely needed more happiness in their lives.  Day after day, I was humbled by the opportunity to provide even just a little bright spot in their day – in the form of 10 new books. For any of you who have volunteered at our book fairs, you know what I’m talking about. The energy at the books fairs is almost a physical thing – you can feel it in the air and the kids exude positivity as they scan the shelves. 
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