Books for Kids

Books for Kids was created as a continuum for early childhood literacy. Providing books to children of all ages, the program reaches families who have had the advantages of Books for Babies and those who have not.


We give free books, literacy resources and workshops to families, child-care providers, teachers, doctors, health-care groups, library programs, and many nonprofits.

Two initiatives launched in mid-2014 — Book Places and Partnerships — expanded our outreach to low-income and at-risk families through formal collaborations with other nonprofits serving children and families. Today we have 32 Book Places and 14 Partnerships.

Our annual book distribution through this program alone is over 145,000 and climbing. Since its inception, Books for Kids has delivered more than 1 million new and gently used books.

The program gives new books but principally gently used books, which come to us through donations and book drives.

The program accepts requests for books made within Connecticut, not out of state. Requests should be are made online, through this website, whenever possible. The “Book Requests” tab below gives more details and directions.

While Books for Kids serves the entire state, the program has a special initiative in Coastal Fairfield County.

For more details on the components of Books for Kids, see:

Across Connecticut, our 30 Book Places/Rincónes del Libros are sites at other agencies — all nonprofits — where families have access to free children’s books that they can select and keep.

Many sites are at Family Resource Centers, which are based at public elementary schools. All sites allow clients of the particular hosting nonprofits and other families in their communities to take books.

The Book Places/Rincónes del Libros consist of dedicated bookcases, which Read to Grow regularly stocks with books. The sites also offer literacy information and resources for parents and workshops for the agencies’ staff, clients and other visiting families.

See a full listing of Book Places/Rincónes del Libros.

Books for Kids provides books on request from within Connecticut, not out of state.

Requests should be made online, through this website, whenever possible. (If you do not have access to a computer, please call in your request at: 203.488.6800.)

We have three different request forms:

Family Book Request Form — for individual families;

Home Child-Care Provider Book Request Form — for home child-care providers;

Program Book Request Form — for programs.

Only a book request from a program requires payment of a $10 fee if Read to Grow is asked to make the delivery. All other deliveries (to families and home child-care providers) are free. Read to Grow always welcomes free pick-up of books at our Branford office.

The Read at Home Initiative has been a partnership between Read to Grow and United Way of Coastal Fairfield County (UWCFC) since 2009.

UWCFC serves children and families at risk in these 12 communities: Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

UWCFC coordinates services through partnerships with Norwalk Early Childhood Council and Bridgeport Alliance for Young Children and their own Mentoring Institute. Norwalk ACTS and Bridgeport Prospers Cradle to Career are also supported by UWCFC. All these programs receive free children’s books through Read to Grow.

For the UWCFC partnership, we:

  • annually collect 20,000 books through book drives in Fairfield County;
  • annually distribute 20,000-25,000 books to: families; child care centers; health clinics; Book Places, and other programs;
  • offer workshops to staff and parents of programs on emergent and childhood literacy and the importance of books in the home and family reading.

Our 12 Partnerships intensify our outreach to thousands more low-income families, many of them bilingual or Spanish-speaking only.

All are formal collaborations with nonprofits directly assisting populations in need and at-risk. We add or enhance the early childhood literacy components of their work.

Through Partnerships, we:

  • collect more data on book use and literacy activities in the home;
  • provide greater accountability to funders;
  • aim to create efficiencies among agencies;
  • intend to increase the likelihood of healthier attitudes and behaviors in homes and communities.

12 Partnerships with other nonprofits include:

  • In-home visiting (7 programs or agencies): Clifford Beers Clinic-Wraparound New Haven; Fair Haven Community Center Healthy Start; and 5 Nurturing Families Network programs, which are: VNA of South Central CT, Family Centered Services of Connecticut in New Haven, Fair Haven Community Health Center, Families in Crisis in Hartford, and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.
  • Childcare supporters (1): All Our Kin.
  • Food banks (2): Connecticut Food Bank’s GROW! Truck; Malta Food Pantry in Hartford.
  • Other programs and agencies (2): New Haven MOMS Partnership; Diaper Bank.