Who loves a great challenge? You know - the kind that keeps your mind racing from one idea to another, sometimes waking you up at night or distracting you in the shower.
At Book Trust, we embrace challenges. And the one we’re tackling now is a big one. When we overcome it, we will be changing the lives of millions of kids, and even as we chip away in search of a solution today, we are touching more and more lives and deepening the impact of our program as we go. The upside is great and we can’t go wrong on this journey.
Okay, here is our challenge – or opportunity – as we often refer to it: there are over 16 million children at Title I elementary schools in America who could benefit from Book Trust. Today, we are serving just 53,000 of them. We have over 600 schools on a waitlist representing 200,000 additional students and their hopeful teachers who have heard about our program and want to participate. Teachers, principals, parents, school districts reach out to us all the time asking how they can get Book Trust at their school.
The question we are asking ourselves is, “What will it take to meet this demand in a very intentional and strategic manner?”
In other words,
“What will it take to get to scale?”
Mission. We are committed to maintaining a laser-focus on our mission as we scale. It is our mission that unites and drives us all — team members, board members, volunteers, supporters, and most important, our teachers, students, and families.
Talent. We are committed to building an incredibly talented team that embraces our values: Reading First, Relationships, Raise the Bar, Results. The scale question will not be solved by an individual but by our team of experts whose collective thinking will yield the strategies we need to succeed.
Partnerships. We just wrapped up a year of 35% growth that was realized through new partnerships forged in New York City, Oakland, California, and Omaha, Nebraska. We are proud of all we accomplished and have stepped back to reflect on lessons learned. Now we’re creating the plan that will get us to scale – leveraging our previous successes, and defining the new strategies and relationships that are effective, replicable, and reflective of our mission.
Curiosity. We have an insatiable appetite to conquer tough obstacles, such as:
– How do we demonstrate Book Trust’s impact in a way that compels schools, districts and government (local, state, federal) to view our program as a missing piece in their literacy strategy and to invest in bringing Book Trust to all kids in need in their communities?
– How do we build partnerships that fund Book Trust so that school districts and community organizations commit to sustaining the work for a minimum of 3 years to measure the impact of their investment?
We dream of a day when Book Trust no longer needs to exist, because every child has the tools and skills they need to be successful lifelong readers and learners. We are committed to forging the path to scale, success, and most of all, impact, for each and every child in need.