Mission Partners

Improving literacy is a major goal of many local and national organizations. Most of the national organizations will be potential partners and grantors. The local programs that are involved in book distribution generally focus on school based programs or distribution at their local facility. On this page, are national and local organizations with whom we share some of our goals, in that capacity, we may be able to work together to get books into the children in New York's Capital District.

First Book is a national, DC-based organization that provides funding, as available, and regularly offers deep discounts on books to local organizations. Locally, we have found that First Book worked with 15-LOVE. We would apply for funding to fulfill our need for book types that we have difficulty stocking, like board books and leveled readers. 

Reading is Fundamental (RIF)is a program that distributes funds to nonprofits. Their priority is reading choice. In Albany, they have been working with the Thomas O’Brien Academy for Science and Technology (TOAST) and when funded have distributed 2000 books per year at the elementary school. They received $5,146,000 in US Department of Education Innovative Approach to Literacy Program funds in 2014, and $3,259,000 in 2013. This program is aligned with our goals and we will seek funding through them. 

Reach Out and Read (ROAR)is a national literacy organization. They partner with doctors who prescribe reading books and encourage families to read together. There are three listed programs in Albany. We already have one of our shelves in the waiting room of the Albany Medical Center Pediatric Group and were invited into the other programs which are both at Whitney M. Young Health Centers. This organization is likely to be our best ally as we seek the same goal. The national organization helps the local programs negotiate favorable prices on books from national publishers. The US Maternal and Child Health Bureau contributed funds to ROAR in 2013 and 2014. They received additional Federal grants, totaling more than a million dollars in 2014 and 2015. ROAR should also receive federal funds as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act that President Obama signed, Dec. 10, 2015. 

15-LOVEdeveloped an after school reading program for inner city school students, utilizing volunteers to work one on one with students. They also have two book distribution programs. The Book Power Clubs provide books to their students as part of the tutoring process. The Book Distribution Program offers books at two major events each year, the Fall Giveaway and the Spring Giveaway. The Fall 2014 event utilized funding from First Book. 

Albany Community Action Programworks in partnership with families and communities to empower people to achieve economic self-sufficiency and improved quality of life. They offer Head Start preschool programs and they operate the Children’s Center in Albany County Family Court. This is where our first bookshelf has been in place since 2009. They have occasionally supplemented our shelf if supplies ran low. 

The Albany Promiseis a regional, cross-sector partnership where community leaders in Albany come together to support a shared, cradle to career education vision. Through its members, Albany Promise commits to: improve education outcomes for students; align individual and collective action; advocate for and promote the effective use of data and data-driven decision-making processes; and measure the success of the partnership by tracking its progress relative outcomes. One of their leaders, former City Councilwoman Barbara Smith of the Family Education Alliance has supported the Bright Red Bookshelf Program and sought its books for the Albany City Hall. We will seek to partner with them.

The Book Projectis a program offered by Grassroot Givers. They list about 2000 books given away per year. They focus on working with the teachers and students at local public schools.