About

Why We’re Here

At Book Trust, all our work revolves around a single, sad fact: There are thousands of children in America who would like nothing better than to read, but have no books.

It might seem surprising that so many kids in one of the wealthiest nations in the world can’t get their hands on a simple two-dollar book. But the picture is pretty stark – in low-income areas, there is just 1 book for every 300 children.

How We Work

We empower kids from low-income families to choose and buy their own books, all through the school year. And our focus on book choice and ownership is no accident. Studies show that children are much more likely to read books that they choose, and having books at home brings proven benefits.

Best of all, our approach really works. Over a school year, the percentage of Book Trust students reading at grade level jumps from 31 percent to 59 percent.

The Future

Each year, Book Trust grows and helps more students. Funded entirely by generous donations, this year we will deliver 1.2 million books to 50,000 kids in 18 states. That’s a big number, but there are always more children needing our support. And we will keep on working to reach greater numbers every year.

Book Trust uniquely delivers choice and ownership of books to children from low-income families, increasing their literacy skills and fostering life-long learning.

Leadership Team

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Donna Frost

VP of Finance & Operations

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Linda Mitchell

VP of Development

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Anne Tengler

VP of Marketing

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Melissa Wagasky

VP of Program & Strategy

Our Staff

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Shay Belisle

Hawaii Director

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Rachel Carey

Teacher Account Specialist

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Jessie Chase

Director of Professional Development

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Leon Duran

Office Manager/Executive Assistant to the President & CEO

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Tiffany Grady

Director of Individual Giving

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Whitney Luke

Program Manager

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Faith Mainor

Database Manager

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Kristine McAuliff

Development Associate

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Katherine Williford

Associate Director, Foundation Partnerships

National Board

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Ron Lowy

Board Chair

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David Diehl

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Brad Florin

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Jim Hackstaff

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Judy Newman (Advisor)

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David Perez

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Adrienne Schatz

Founder

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Jill Schatz

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Ryta Sondergard

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Cheryl Zimlich

Regional Boards

Denver

Greg Bellomo

Board Chair

Chris Beisler

Catherine Burge

Caroline Czirr

Shawn Johnson

Jon Kalstein

Traci Kellner

Charles Malek

Amy Nisenson

Tamika Pumphrey

Katica Roy

Kate Sneed

Rick Thomas

Mike Wade

Northern Colorado

Amy Kolczak

Board Chair

Kate Baker

Chris Baker

Joanna Blasini

Carol Cochran

Stacie Datteri

Holly Dickinson

John Hintzman

Michele Marquitz

Mary Pat McCurdie

Thomas Milligan

Erin Whittington

Maui

Susan Bentley

Board Chair

Rachel Love Academia

Nancy Callahan

Tim Garcia

Caroline Koley Stoner

Colleen O’Shea Brady

Jill Schatz

our history

The seeds for Book Trust were sown over twenty years ago. Our founder, Adrienne Schatz, wondered why some children in her elementary school in Fort Collins, Colorado didn’t buy books from Scholastic Reading Club flyer each month.

Eventually, she realized the truth: they couldn’t afford them. Committed to finding a way for children in her community to fall in love with reading as she had, Adrienne developed the idea for Book Trust.

Beginning in 2001, Adrienne piloted the Book Trust program with 170 students in Larimer County, Colorado, under the auspices of the Serimus Foundation. Book Trust was spun off as its own 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2006. Today, we serve more than 50,000 students in 18 states.

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