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. In 2018 and 2019, our program operated at full capacity and served 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders at 30+ Minneapolis schools - reaching a total of about 10,000 kids! In 2020 we're facing a new dilemma - COVID-19 - and are still figuring out the best and safest way to get kids the books they need to support their summer reading. Learn how you can support our efforts, by either donating or volunteering your time.
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."
Start Reading Now Co-Founder and Chair