Everyone knows how expensive high quality children's books can be. That's why community book drives are an important source of support for thousands of Reach Out and Read Programs nationwide.
If you are interested in organizing a book drive for a Reach Out and Read Program in your region, here are some suggestions to help in your planning. In addition, please see our Guidelines for Book Donations. These guidelines were developed out of respect for families and in keeping with the philosophy of Reach Out and Read - every child deserves quality, appropriate books.
See Guidelines for Book Donations
- Find a Reach Out and Read Program in need of books through our interactive map or by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact the Program directly to determine what its greatest needs are (new board books for babies, used books for the waiting room, etc.) and whether the clinic has additional guidelines for donated books. Note: Reach Out and Read only distributes new children's books in the exam room during regular pediatric checkups, but used books are often used in the waiting room, given away to children who come for a sick visit, or given to siblings who don't have an appointment that day, but would like a book to take home as well.
- Donated books should be developmentally-appropriate and culturally-appropriate
- For a list of suggested children's books, refer to the Annotated Book List for Children.
- Used books must be "gently-used" (covers and pages intact, clean, and readable).
- Hardcover picture books with brightly-colored pictures and interesting stories are ideal.
- Reach Out and Read's focus is on children between the ages of 6 months through 5 years, although books for older children may be accepted, depending on the needs of individual Programs.
- Books about sensitive issues like divorce, abuse, or death cannot be accepted, nor can books which include any reference to religious worship, instruction, or proselytization.
- Because Reach Out and Read Programs are run by clinic volunteers, it's best if you can drop the books directly at the clinic.
Below are materials to help promote your book drive or fundraising event. The materials can also be customized for your Site, upon request.
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A Girl Scout Troop with Books Collected During a Book Drive