Check out this great footage of a Start Reading Now book fair in action.
Thanks to Hmong International Academy for letting us capture your fair on film this year! And thanks to Atomic Data for all your superb volunteer support - we couldn't do this work without you.
"Thank you for the books! I am excited to read them this summer! You are kind." - Angelo, 2nd grader
As 2017 comes to a close, we wanted to share a note of updates, funding needs, and thanks.
- New branding, courtesy of Kick Creative in SW Minneapolis, with a major assist from our largest donor, Atomic Data
- Launched a new website with new technology integration: Used NationBuilder, SignUp Genius and Zapier to simplify coordination of volunteers
- Operated with 94% of resources going to program costs - for more details, see our 2017 Annual Report
Give a gift that keeps on giving!
Have you heard that before? But you really can give a gift that keeps giving at Start Reading Now.
For every $50 that you donate, one child in need gets to shop at our book fairs and pick out 10 brand new books. This may seem like a small thing to some of us, but 10 new books in a home that has minimal reading material is a big deal. Access to these books will not only encourage more reading – but these books allow our kids to practice and KEEP their hard-earned reading skills over summer break. We all know that reading is important, but Tommy dePaola sums up its lasting impact best,
“Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything.”
So if you’re looking for a unique gift for the person on your list who - "has everything" - "doesn't want anything" - "wants you to donate to charity in their name"? Give the gift of reading! We're a small organization so your contribution will make a huge difference. But the best part? Your donation will ensure that one more child has the opportunity to discover the magic of books – what could be better than that?
Thank you again for your interest, support and time in 2017. We appreciate all of you!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!
Start Reading Now
(Lauren, Pam and Kevin!)
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.Read more
Article originally published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune
On the eve of summer vacation, two Minneapolis management consultants will give away 40,000 new books to Minneapolis first- and second-grade students — no strings attached.
They're convinced that free books can be a simple and inexpensive fix to the thorny problem of kids from poor households losing more reading skills over the summer than their middle-class peers.Read more
The Richard M. Schulze Foundation awarded Start Reading Now $15,000, providing a great start to our fundraising for the 2016 program! We plan to serve at least 1,000 kids in Minneapolis in 2016, in grades 1, 2 and 3.
An interview with Start Reading Now Co-Founder Kevin Terrell on NorthStar Oasis local access TV, hosted by Jeff Williams. We cover the origins of the program, including how Pam kick-started it all, along with our successes to date and plans for the future.