Our Reach

By engaging the greater community and working with local agencies to give children books to take home and keep, The Children’s Book Bank supports early literacy development with four levels of beneficiaries: children, parents, literacy programs and the community.  


Our programming is directed toward children in need from birth through grade 8 and supports early education and literacy development by providing books as tools.  These books mean children have the tools they need to develop important pre-reading skills, to support early reading achievement, and to prevent learning loss when school is not in session. 

“It is so awesome to get books that I get to keep. I chose 6 books and am most excited about keeping the books because at other schools we can’t take books home.”
— Student at Alder Elementary School


The books that we give also help parents change family reading attitudes and behaviors and support families with adult literacy challenges in literacy development. 

“Getting books from The Children’s Book Bank is really beneficial…The kids have them all day long: in the car, in the house, in the room. They can take them to Grandma’s and they don’t have to worry about taking them back.”
— Julie McDonald, Parent of Preschooler at Portland Public Schools Head Start
“Around the time we received the books [from The Children’s Book Bank] we had to stay with some friends and we had all our things in storage. Aaliyah had no books and when she got the books and took them to where we were staying, she was very happy and excited and didn’t feel so bad anymore that we had no home at the time. She has learned that having someone read to you or looking at books can change a person’s mood from sad to happy.”
— Parent of a Preschooler at Portland Public Schools Head Start



This distribution of books as tools complements existing literacy programs conducted by organizations such as public schools and Head Start.  Meet our Literacy Partners.

“I distribute the books at our first goal setting conference. It helps to be able to discuss literacy activities knowing that every child/family has books at home to practice with.”
— PPS Head Start Teacher at Creston Annex
“When children have exposure to books at home it gives them a greater sense of ownership of books at school. They start to understand the importance of book use and care and enjoy reading stories with friends.”
— PPS Head Start Teacher at Sacajawea


The Children’s Book Bank was established in part to provide the community with a place for families to donate the books their children have outgrown and keep this valuable resource out of landfills.  In addition, our kid-friendly volunteer sessions provide families, schools and other groups with meaningful opportunities to foster philanthropy in the next generation.  Learn more about donating books and volunteering.

“I like knowing that the books my children and I have loved and enjoyed might be loved an enjoyed by another family that needs them.”
— Anonymous book donor
“When I outgrow my books I will bring them to the book bank.”
— Eli, volunteer (age 5)
“Coming here today seemed like another way to complete some required volunteer hours, but this experience began to mean more and more as I proceeded to clean books. I realized that many children do not have the access to books that many of us do. As a fellow book reader, that is devastating as books should be a big part of a child’s life.”
— Miriam, student volunteer