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 34 Book Places and 11 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 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.

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

Across Connecticut, our 34 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. Read to Grow asks that any request is made at least 4 weeks in advance. If books are needed sooner, please complete the appropriate request form and contact a Books for Kids Coordinator at 203.488.6800.

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 $15 fee if Read to Grow is asked to make the delivery. Deliveries to families are free. Read to Grow always welcomes free pick-up of books at our Branford office.

Our 11 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.

11 Partnerships with other nonprofits include:

  • In-home visiting (6 programs or agencies): The Children’s Community Programs of Connecticut, Fair Haven Community Health Center and Family Centered Services of Connecticut in New Haven; and 3 Nurturing Families Network programs, which are: Child and Family Guidance Center in Bridgeport, East Shore District Health Department in Branford, and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London
  • Childcare supporters (1): All Our Kin in New Haven.
  • Food banks (2): Connecticut Food Bank’s GROW! Truck; Malta Food Pantry in Hartford.
  • Other programs and agencies (2): The Diaper Bank, and Yale University New Haven MOMS Partnership.