Bernie’s Book Bank collects, processes and distributes quality new and gently used children’s books to significantly increase book ownership among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout Chicagoland.

Watch our distribution video to see the impact you can help make!

Reading is the single most important skill a child needs to learn. Yet studies show that 61% of low-income families don’t have any books at all in their homes for their children.*

Bernie’s Book Bank aims to change that statistic by pouring quality children’s books into “at-risk” homes, ensuring that children have access to books from birth, and arrive to school “reading ready.”

Bernie’s Book Bank is the logistical bridge between where books are today, and are no longer being used, to where they are not, but are desperately needed. We do three things exceptionally well: we collect hundreds of thousands of new and gently used books; we process them into collections of six age-appropriate and leveled books; and we deliver them directly into the hands of low-income children who have none of their own.

With a sense of urgency and professionalism, we’ve taken the guesswork out of what to do with outgrown children’s books.

Why is reading readiness important? Because millions of children show up to the first day of kindergarten never having seen a book before in their lives. Through no fault of their own, they begin school four years behind. We then spend millions per year on reading intervention programs trying to catch them up. Of those who don’t catch up and cannot read proficiently by 4th grade, a full two-thirds will end up in jail or on welfare.**

Bernie’s Book Bank is changing that trajectory today for more than 250,000 children in Chicago and its suburbs. Each child we serve receives a minimum of 12 books per year from us.  The books are theirs to keep at home forever.

As our community’s children’s book bank, and a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization, we rely on donations of books, volunteers and funding!  We have distributed over 7 MILLION books since 2009 and are growing rapidly to serve every at-risk child in Chicagoland, and then to expand to other major cities in America.

Thank you for helping us give BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE.

Bernie’s Book Bank is a registered 501(c)(3) organization (EIN 27-0914453)

Reading Literacy in the United States, 1996

** BegintoRead.com

Copyright (R) 2012 Bernie’s Book Bank

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