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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Start Reading Now on the Unleashed Podcast

Have you ever wondered how Start Reading Now came to be? Listen to co-founder, Kevin Terrell discuss our origin story and the research behind it with Will Bachman. Thanks again to Will and Umbrex for having us on the Unleashed podcast!

Episode 144 - Listen now!

KSTP News Coverage of Start Reading Now

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. 

Year End Update - Give the Gift of Reading!


"Thank you for the books! I am excited to read them this summer! You are kind." - Angelo, 2nd grader

Hello Friends!

As 2017 comes to a close, we wanted to share a note of updates, funding needs, and thanks.

2017 Highlights

  • 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!)



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

 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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Minneapolis nonprofit aims to stop summer skills slide with simple solution: free books

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.

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Successful Partnership Continues with MPS

As usual, we are very grateful for our wonderful partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools. Since day one, our local school district has supported Start Reading Now's mission whole-heartedly. 

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KSTP-TV Talks Start Reading Now

On June 1st and 2nd we served 2,000 Minneapolis Public School 1st graders at the 28 schools with at least 50% of kids on free or reduced lunch. 

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