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 31 Book Places and 10 Partnerships.

Our annual book distribution through this program alone is over 139,000 and climbing. Since its inception, Books for Kids has delivered more than 1.4 million new and gently used books.

The program gives new books and 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 made online, through this website, whenever possible. The “Book Requests” tab below gives more details and directions.

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

Across Connecticut, our 31 Book Places/Rincónes del Libros are sites at agencies and community non-profits where families have access to a Read to Grow-stocked book shelf with free children’s books that families can select and take home to keep.

Due to COVID-19, many of our Book Places are operating on different schedules but continue to give out books. We recommend calling the Book Place in your area to confirm their current hours of operation. Some Book Places may redirect you back to Read to Grow, in which case you are welcome to complete a Book Request form for us to mail you books.

Books for Kids provides books upon request from within Connecticut, not out of state. Book requests typically take 4–6 weeks to fulfill. Our ability to complete your request is based on the books we have in our inventory. We may not have books available that fit the type or number of books that you are requesting. If you have an immediate need, please call the office and ask to speak with a Books for Kids coordinator.

Requests should be made online, through the forms listed below, whenever possible. If you do not have access to the internet or you are sharing this resource with someone who does not have access to the internet, please call in your request at 203.488.6800.

We have two different forms:

Family Book Request Form — for individual families

Program and Home Child-Care Provider Book Request Form — for programs and for home childcare providers

Once you’ve submitted a form, our Books for Kids coordinators will contact you about the best way to get books to you. We ship books and welcome free book pick-ups at our Branford office.

Our 10 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.

10 Partnerships with other nonprofits include:

  • In-home visiting (6 programs or agencies): The Child & Family Guidance Center / Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV), The Children’s Community Programs of Connecticut, Fair Haven Community Health Clinic, Inc. / Family Home Visiting Partnership of New Haven, Family Centered Services of CT/Family Check Up & Everyday Parenting Program; and 2 Nurturing Families Network programs, which are: East Shore District Health Department in Branford, and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London
  • Childcare supporters (1): All Our Kin in New Haven.
  • Food bank (1): Malta Food Pantry in Hartford.
  • Other programs and agencies (2): The Diaper Bank, and Yale University New Haven MOMS Partnership.