Reading For Life

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What we do


At Start Reading Now, we host and fund book fairs to help close the achievement gap for 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 student. 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 and 2021 we faced a new dilemma - COVID-19 - but were still able to serve some students through online book fairs. 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 who are experts in education and book fairs. We also rely on amazing volunteers and donors who make our book fairs possible.  

 


The Real Story

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"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



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    IEM's Cammy Smith joins the board at Start Reading Now

      Start Reading Now, a Minneapolis literacy nonprofit, announced today that it has appointed Cammy Smith, MBA, CEPA®, CEO and President of Integrated Equity Management (IEM), to its board of directors effective March 17, 2021.  "As we approach another Summer of online book fairs and begin to look to the future of Start Reading Now, we wanted to bring in fresh ideas and guidance,” said Jim Wolford, Start Reading Now’s chairman. “In addition to IEM’s continued financial support, Cammy’s leadership and professional network will enable us to plot a course towards regional and eventually national expansion. The entire board is thrilled to welcome Cammy to the team!”
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    Atomic Data Takes the Lead with Start Reading Now

    February 16, 2021 -- MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Local literacy nonprofit Start Reading Now has transitioned to a board led by Atomic Data employees, Minnesota’s on-demand, always-on, IT as a Service provider, effective February 1, 2021. Atomic Data has been a long-time financial and volunteer supporter of Start Reading Now, and will help the nonprofit continue operations in the face of COVID-19. The change in leadership will allow Start Reading Now to better serve its existing market and eventually expand operations beyond the Twin Cities. 
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