About Books for Kids

Our Mission

The mission of the Books for Kids Foundation is to promote literacy among all children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. Books for Kids creates libraries, donates books, and implements literacy programs to develop the critical early foundation and skills which young children need to be successful in life.

Books for Kids is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with our main office located in New York City. We operate with the belief that every child deserves access to the life-changing experiences that come from having literacy advocates championing for them every day. By working with parents, schools, and communities, we hope to ensure each child in our programs enters kindergarten with the same knowledge and love for reading as their more affluent peers.

Our Staff

Amanda HirshExecutive Director
Christie Steele-Garcia ~ Development Manager
Lisa Francese ~ Program Director
Samantha Salloway ~ Office & Community Engagement Coordinator

As the ones who conduct our programs and interact with the children, families, and teachers every week, our Library Specialists operate at the heart of what we do. All of our Library Specialists are qualified professionals who bring their unique backgrounds and teaching styles to our programs.

Amanda Deutch ~ Library Specialist (NYC)
Tanya Dougherty ~ Library Specialist (NYC)
Hannah Kowalczyk-Harper ~ Library Specialist (Las Vegas)
Vanessa Lewis ~ Library Specialist (Boston)
Juliette Portnoy ~ Library Specialist (Los Angeles)
Sarah Tupper ~ Library Specialist (NYC)
Ashley Weismantel ~ Library Specialist (NYC)
Cassandra Williams ~ Library Specialist (Alabama)

BFK Quick Facts in Our 30th Year
Fiscal Year 2015-2016

Although it’s hard to quantify the enormous value libraries have on children and their communities, there are some key numbers we look to in order to understand our impact. We said, “Happy Birthday, Books for Kids!” with these incredible numbers, which wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our donors, parents, teachers, and other caregivers across the country.

Number of active and certified libraries: 52
Number of libraries with a dedicated Library Specialist conducting literacy programming: 24 (A 118% increase from last year!)
Number of books donated to libraries, home libraries, and classrooms: 22,920
Number of books children borrowed in our libraries: 7,917
Number of books read during StoryTime: 1,300

Read our entire Books for Kids, 2015-2016 Annual Report