We Give Books, a free website, is a new digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don’t have them, simply by reading online.  We Give Books combines the joy of reading with the power of helping others, providing a platform for caregivers and educators to inspire children to become lifelong readers and lifelong givers.

All of the books available for online reading are children’s picture books appropriate for children through age ten. There is a mix of fiction and nonfiction, a range of authors, and an equal balance between read-alouds and books for independent readers. We’ll be adding news books every month, together with special seasonal offerings.


Who Is Behind It?

We Give Books was created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation. Pearson Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Pearson plc. A 501(c) (3) nonprofit operating foundation, the Pearson Foundation extends Pearson’s commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe.

The We Give Books team works upfront with each non-profit literacy partner to identify the kinds of children’s books that best fit their program needs. Some of the same great books you can read online will be donated to our charity partners through your reading efforts. We also donate others they request specifically for the young people they serve.

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PBS Ready to Learn Project (ages 2-4)

Purpose is to:

The math- and literacy-based educational programming created by Ready To Learn provides families with effective, non-commercial content that helps prepare kids for success in school. It provides resources that support community efforts to ensure that students entering school have basic skills that will enable them to be ready to learn.

  • The program is an innovative partnership between Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, and our local public stations and their many community-based partners.
  • WGTE provides programming that sparks interest followed by hands on learning activities.
  • Pam Johnson, Executive Director of Ready to Learn-PBS, stated PBS has followed the National Reading Panel recommendation to develop a “360 Literacy Framework” by intentionally designing educational resources that surround children with high quality programming.
    • SuperWhy – program for 3-6 year olds targeting basic reading readiness skills
    • Martha Speaks – develops oral vocabulary (20 words per show)  and comprehension
      • Tier 1 – common words    Tier  2 – more sophisticated words
  • Word World – for 3-5 year olds, print awareness, phonological sensitivity, letter knowledge, vocabulary and comprehension
  • Biz Kids – for children interested in business
  • All RTL content is guided by a math skill framework and a literacy skill framework based on the state’s Common Core standards and developed and created by the nation’s most trusted educational advisors create new children’s mathematics properties and enhance existing literacy content

Reach Out and Read ( partners with pediatricians to promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. The program has reached nearly four million families so far, and evaluations show participating

children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies,stronger language skills and a six month developmental edge over their peers.


Reading Is Fundamental (, the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the U.S., delivers free books and literacy resources to children and families who need them most. A network of 400,000 volunteers work in schools, homeless shelters, churches, migrant centers, health clinics and community centers to distribute 15 million books, stage reading motivation activities and promote the importance of literacy in their communities

Raising a Reader ( works with at-risk families to encourage reading with young children every day. RAR provides high quality, multicultural-focused books on a weekly basis to families with children who often have limited exposure to books. It encourages parents to engage in a daily routine of “book cuddling” with their children from birth to age five to foster healthy brain development, parent-child bonding and early literacy skills. In 10 years, it has reached more than 800,000 children at 2,500 sites in 30 states


First Book ( connects book publishers and community organizations to provide access to new books for children in need. So far, 80 million books have been donated to more than 25,000 programs or groups. First Book distributes books in three ways:

❏ The First Book National Book Bank distributes free books to programs that serve at least 80% children from low income families.


❏ The First Book Marketplace is an online store selling discounted books and educational

materials 50 – 90% off retail prices to programs that serve at least 50% children from low-income families.


❏ First Book Advisory Boards make community level grants enabling programs that serve at least 80% children from low income families to receive free books.


In2Books (, An innovative reading-tutoring program a literacy curriculum-based eMentoring program that connects caring adult volunteers with third-fifth grade students from under-resourced communities. From September to June, students and their adult pen pals read up to five books selected by the students and exchange ideas about the books via online letters. The program is supervised by classroom teachers, who access online professional development and practical teacher-tested learning activities, provide genre instruction and teach reading, writing and thinking skills appropriate to the genre.


Read and Rise –

Read and Rise is a sustainable and systematic literacy engagement program designed to bring families, schools, and communities together to support children’s literacy development, while celebrating the positive impact of family culture and tradition. This unique, multi-dimensional program includes:

  • Research-based curricula built on best educational practices
  • Family workshops to engage families in how best to support literacy development at home
  • Take-home libraries for every student
  • Partnerships and resources to help build a text-rich home environment
  • English and Spanish editions

Read and Rise offers a flexible, multi-tiered approach to family and community engagement that is anchored in building text-rich environments at home for all children.

  • Read and Rise Take-Home Resources: Designed to engage individual families in their homes, the Read and Rise program offers a proactive strategy to reach families directly. Individual take-home books and supportive resources help parents break through any language and literacy barriers in their efforts to support their children’s literacy development.
  • Read and Rise Professional Development: An inspiring series of in-depth and engaging training sessions for facilitators conducted by Family Literacy Specialists from Scholastic. Participants are introduced to the Read and Rise program and trained on how to best use its simple and effective curriculum and take-home resources.
  • Read and Rise Comprehensive Family & Community Engagement Solution: The comprehensive program provides take-home resources for all families, professional development training led by a Scholastic Literacy Specialist and all the resources and tools necessary to effectively implement the complete Read and Rise program. Customizable to meet your needs and the number of families being served, this sustainable program helps expand and strengthen a school district’s capacity to reach more families within their school and in the community.
  • Facilitator Training = $4,500
  • Facilitator Kits = $150
  • Workshop Kits – $85 per age group
  • Read and Rise book and fun card set of 20 = $130



Organized lessons – An entire school year of online lessons, organized and ready to go. Lesson plans, crafts, worksheets and even music downloads. Learn More

Save time & money – A comprehensive online curriculum for less than $12.00 per month! Why is the price so low? It’s not because we’re cutting corners. Learn More

Strengthen bonds – Your little ones will be all grown before you know it. Cherish this time you have together before they leave for school. Learn More.




Information for parents

■ The National Institute for Literacy publication, A Child Becomes a Reader: Proven Ideas from

Research for Parents, Kindergarten through Grade 3. (

  1. Reading Rockets offers information and resources on how young children learn to read and what adults can do to help. It is produced by WETA and funded by a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
  2. LD Online LD   OnLine is the leading website on learning disabilities, learning disorders and differences. Parents and teachers of learning disabled children will find authoritative guidance on attention deficit disorder, ADD / ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dysnomia, reading difficulties, speech and related disorders.
  3. 100 Home-School Activities Literacy for Kindergarten. Find information about reading and literacy skills activities parents can use to support their kindergarten student.
  4. 100 Home-School Activities Literacy for First Grade. This site provides reading and literacy skills activities parents can use to support their first grade student.
  5. 100 Home-School Activities Literacy for Second Grade. This site provides reading and literacy skills activities parents can use to support their second grade student.
  6. 100 Home-School Activities Literacy for Third Grade. This site provides reading and literacy activities parents can use to support their third grade student.
  7. Five ways to raise a reader.
  8. The Child Development Institute provides information for parents on child development from infants to teenagers.
  9. ¡Colorín Colorado! This bilingual English-Spanish site provides valuable information, activities, and advice for Spanish-speaking parents and educators of English language learners. It is the companion site to Reading Rockets, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
  10. Get Ready to Read: – Get Ready to Read! is designed to support educators, parents, and young children in the development of early literacy skills in the years before kindergarten. Intended for use with all children, the resources and information provided on this site promote skill-building, communication between adults, and ways to address concerns. Thirty-six Skill Building Cards can be downloaded at the following link:
  11. Zero to Three: – this website helps parents learn more about how to use books to encourage your baby’s early literacy. The site includes parent and child activities, includes lists of resources, and information on developing thinking skills, self-control, and self-confidence.
  12. What Should I Read Aloud? A Guide to 200 Best-Selling Picture Books by Nancy A. Anderson (International Reading Association, 2007). This is a helpful resource for parents or teachers who are looking for guidance in selecting picture books for children. Using research conducted by Publishers Weekly, author Nancy A. Anderson compiled a list of children’s picture books that have made the all-time best-selling list. –
  13. Parent and Afterschool Resources (Grades K-12). Find information on engaging ways to introduce children to reading or encouraging teens to write. See age-appropriate book suggestions that are fun, educational, and easy to use outside of school. –
  14. Thinkfinity Offers a Summer Learning Feature to help parents encourage their children’s learning throughout the summer months.  Verizon Thinkfinity ( has added a new Summer Learning feature offering everything from simple poems and songs to science experiments. Thinkfinity also offers free webinars both for educators and for general audiences in its Professional Development ( section, as well as a Thinkfinity Community ( where educators can share ideas and connect with others.

Research on programs that work to improve early grade reading

■ What Works Clearinghouse (

■ Best Evidence in Education (Grades K-1, Grades 2-5) (

■ National Center for Family Literacy

■ National Reading Panel Summary Report and Full Report (

■ Reading Research in Action (

■ The National Education Association’s Read Across America (


Student Performance Data

■ For more information on what U.S. students know and can do in reading, visit National Assessment

of Educational Progress (www.


Information on Community-Based Literacy Programs


■ Guide to Performance Management for Community Literacy Coalitions


Information on School Attendance

■ Attendance Counts (


Resources for Engaging Parents

■ America’s Promise Parent Engagement Toolkit (


Born Learning – (

United Way’s national engagement campaign, helps parents, caregivers and communities support early childhood education.  Public service advertising, a resource-rich web site and educational material (all in English and Spanish) offer fun, concrete ideas to help young children learn. Provides age level developmental lists.


Schools of Hope (video) –

Kids who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma*. United Way’s Schools of Hope mission is to raise literacy skills in children, youth and families with in school tutoring, after school literacy programs and family literacy classes. This award-winning program currently partners with three school districts – Grand Rapids, Godfrey-Lee and Godwin Heights – and works to equip students with the resources they need to achieve academic success.