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 communities 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. We’re all about helping kids build home libraries full of books they want to read, and helping teachers use those books in the classroom to build healthy habits of reading and learning.

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.

vision

Every child discovers the joy and power of reading to create limitless possibilities.

mission

Engaging every child in book choice and ownership, cultivating literacy-rich communities.

values

  • Literacy is a human right.
  • Book choice and ownership creates more motivated readers.
  • Reading has the power to transform lives and communities, breaking the cycle of poverty.
  • Our donors, schools, teachers and Scholastic are key to our success.

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 Books Clubs 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 57,000 students in 21 states.

Want to learn more?

 

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

Our Staff

"My favorite books as a kid were the Berenstain Bears series.”

Nathan Gardner

Senior Director of Finance

"One of my favorites growing up in Wisconsin was a book called 'The Terrible Hodag'. Check it out!"

Peter Harrison

North East Region Program Manager

“The Secret Garden has always been one of my favorites!"

Catherine Heatley

Teacher Helpdesk Specialist

"My favorite book when I was a kid definitely has to be Fantastic Mr. Fox!"

Hiten Jethwa

Senior Director of Programs

"My favorite book growing up was Amelia Bedelia."

Carly Musso

Senior Director of Development

"Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski, and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank were a few of my favorites.”

Kellie O’Keefe

President & CEO

"My favorite book growing up was The Bridge to Terabithia. It was the first time I was transported and felt the emotions of the characters!"

Liz Ronan

Program Manager

One of my favorite books growing up was Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister I love the timeless message of kindness and sharing our gifts with others

Kylea Suman

Program and Development Coordinator

National Board

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Jim Curry

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David Diehl

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Jim Hackstaff

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Amy Kolczak

Board Chair

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Judy Newman (Advisor)

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Karen Padgett

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David Perez

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Dharmendra Sahay

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Adrienne Schatz

Founder

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Cheryl Zimlich

Academic Advisory Board

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Ana Taboada Barber, University of Maryland

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Nell Duke

Nell Duke, University of Michigan

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KaiLonnie Dunsmore

KaiLonnie Dunsmore, University of Chicago

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Ernest Morrell

Ernest Morrell, University of Notre Dame

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Rosario Ordoñez-Jasis, California State University, Fullerton

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Dr Ray Reutzel

D. Ray Reutzel, University of Wyoming

Regional Boards

Denver

Chris Beisler

Julio Da Silva

Deb Deverell

Shawn Johnson

Luis Ponce Ruiz

Katelyn Roberts

Charlotte Robinson

Karen Ryan

Jim Tanzillo

Rick Thomas

Northern Colorado

Joanna Blasini

Mike Clark

Carol Cochran

Board Chair

Heather Gossel

Matt Kettler

Michele Marquitz

Angie Penland

Nicole Walusis

Erin Whittington

Maui

Susan Bentley

Board Chair

Kristi Bendon

Tim Garcia

Shay Goodfellow

Shep Gordon

Ashley Takitani Leahey

Jill Schatz

New York City

Daniel Chu

Michael Del Mauro

Naomi Hochberg

Esther Kremer

Justin Mascall

Board Chair

Brittany Wimmer

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