12 Awesome Book Charities That Keep the World Reading

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What better way is there of keeping the world reading than by supporting one of your favorite book charities?

Our mission here at Looks Like Books is to make readers out of non-readers and bigger readers out of readers.

One way to do that is by first making sure that everyone has access to books.  And supporting one of our favorite book charities will help make that happen.

Not just everyone in your community, your state, or your country. But everyone. Around the world. Here are 12 of our favorite book charities that are doing everything they can to make that happen. Starting with small children and going up from there to make sure that the world keeps reading.

Our Favorite Book Charities

Worldreader

Worldreader brings reading to children in underserved communities.

Did you know that there are an astounding 400 million children that lack basic literacy skills?

Worldreader works globally with partners around the world and helps by providing access to reading through apps on mobil phones and tablets…which means access anytime. They offer books in English, Spanish, Kiswahili, Hindi, and Arabic. Their digital reading solutions support vulnerable and underserved communities and help improve learning outcomes, workforce readiness and gender equity.

Worldreader is an awesome organization and deserves to be at or near the top of our list of favorite book charities.

Little Free Library

Little Free Library (one of our very favorite book charities) is the world’s largest book sharing movement, and perhaps you’re already part of it!

Have you seen any Little Free Library’s in your community? Or, have you built your own Little Free Library?

Did you know that Little Free Library has over 100,000 little libraries around the world? We think this is just plain awesomeness. Here are some examples of what they look like. Have you seen any around your neighborhood?

little free libraries

They come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some people build them to look like an exact replica of their own home!

The idea is that anyone can take a book from a Little Free Library, or donate a book.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization based in LooksLikeBooks own home state of Wisconsin, and their mission is to build community, inspire readers, and expand access to books through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries around the globe.

Book Aid International

Book Aid International is the United Kingdom’s leading international book donation and library development charity.

Every year they help millions of people have the opportunity to read by giving brand new books to libraries, schools, universities, refugee camps, hospitals and prisons around the world.

Book Air International believes that books have the power to change lives. And their mission is to provide those books to those in need so that everyone has access to books and lifelong learning can flourish.

The Book Bus

The Book Bus works to improve literacy in Zambia, Malawi and Ecuador by providing books, storytelling materials and libraries for children and teachers.

So far, The Book Bus is responsible for 6 Buses, 250000 Books, 200+ Schools, 100s Reading Corners, 100000 Children Reading, 1500 Volunteers, and 500000 Miles Traveled.

The Book Bus is committed to changing lives, one book at a time.

Waterbridge Outreach

Waterbridge Outreach is all about books and water.

So what do books have to do with water?

Waterbridge Outreach is a California nonprofit organization that donates books and literacy materials, supports mobil and stationary libraries and finances clean water and sanitation projects in communities in the developing world.

They give children and developing communities hope for the future by nourishing their minds and bodies with books and water.   This is another one of our favorite book charities, and for good reason.  What an awesome mission!

World Literacy Foundation

The World Literacy Foundation is on a mission to make sure that every child has the opportunity to acquire literacy skills and books to reach their full potential, regardless of their geographic location.

Through their programs and services, they provide children with books and educational resources, and bring literacy support to disadvantaged children who are struggling to read and write.

Books For Africa

Books For Africa is the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 52 million books 55 African countries since 1988.

Books For Africa collects, sorts and ships books, computers, tablets, and library enhancement materials to every country in Africa in collaboration with worldwide donors, publishers, and partners.

Their mission is simple. To end book famine in Africa.

But why books? Because they believe that education is the great equalizer in the world and that books are the foundation of education. Access to education is the best way for young people to end the cycle of poverty and attain a better quality of life.

Room To Read

Room To Read believes that world change starts with educated children.

Their mission is to transform the lives of millions of children by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.

They do that by working in collaboration with local communities, organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and support girls to complete secondary school with the needed skills to succeed in school and beyond.

Reading Partners

Currently operating in 10 states around the U.S., Reading Partners is an organization that helps equip students with the lifelong literacy skills that empower their learning. They do this by mobilizing communities to provide students with the proven, individualized reading support they need to read at grade level by fourth grade.

Reading Partners works with under-resourced schools and, along with the help of volunteer reading partners, works one-on-one with students who struggle with reading.

First Book

First Book transforms the lives of children in need by making brand new books affordable and available to the kids who need them most.

Did you know that 60% of underserved kids don’t have a single book in their home?

That’s an astounding thought. And something that we can’t even imagine.

First Book curates new books for these children, and tries to make a difference in their lives.

United Through Reading

United Through Reading connects military families who are separated, due to deployment or military assignment, by providing the bonding experience of shared storytime.

United Through Reading (UTR) service U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserves, and Special Operations Forces for all types of separation required by their armed forces positions.

They promote a read-aloud experience, which provides a meaningful opportunity for service members to stay connected to the children in their lives via video recordings of them reading aloud. These powerful emotional connections relieve the stress of separation, increase the service member and family’s morale, and also help increase literacy and a love of reading. 

Pajama Program

Pajama Program believes that good nights make the best days. And that a comforting bedtime is what gives kids a good night.

They promote a comforting bedtime routine and healthy sleep for kids to help them thrive.  What could possibly be more awesome!  Consider adding Pajama Program to your list of favorite book charities.

They do that by providing new pajamas, storybooks, and resources for caregivers.  Pajama Program offers bedtime resources and sleep education nationwide, as well as through local programs in New York City, Atlanta, and metro-Detroit. 

Ferst Readers

Ferst Readers strengthens communities by providing quality books and literacy resources for children and their families to use at home during the earliest stages of development.

Their mission is to give every child the best start in life – and nothing helps a baby’s brain develop more than exposure to rich language and loving interactions.

Kids that are in the Ferst Readers literacy program receive a bookstore-quality, age-specific book and resources mailed to them at home every month until their fifth birthday.

Don’t these book charities have the most awesome missions?

We think it’s so important to inspire kids to read (adults too), and we hope you think so too.

We also hope that you will consider supporting one or more of these charities so that more kids and adults can experience the joy of reading.

Honestly, it seems like every time I learn about one of these awesome organizations, it gets added right on to my list of favorite book charities.  But, I think you can never have too many!  Especially when they are doing such important work.

Your Favorite Book Charities

Do you have some favorite book charities that are not on our list?  If so, we’d love to know what they are.


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Is this your first visit to Looks Like Books? If so, be sure and check out my About page so you can learn a little more about me and my Looks Like Books mission.

Last Updated on December 14, 2021 by Mary Emmer

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Mary Emmer
Mary Emmer

About the Author

Mary has been an entrepreneur and small business owner since 1984. With a diverse background,  including a life long career in the travel industry, she writes about a number of subjects including books, affiliate marketing, and travel on her niche blogs.  Read more.

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