During the spring and summer of 2020, with schools and public libraries closed, the students living in poverty in the Bay Area lost all access to books. In order to address this sudden and extreme loss of access to pleasure reading materials and reading, Access Books Bay Area shifted our program model, purchasing and distributing thousands of high interest new books directly to students in tandem with existing efforts in school districts to provide other essential services, such as meals. We served 10 schools and one district-wide site in six school districts. Children were provided with bundles of three brand new books each.

We know that research has repeatedly found that reading for pleasure increases academic success in all areas and helps to level the educational playing field. We are committed to continuing to provide access to pleasure reading to our students most in need, the majority of whom are also children of color, and are already most at risk of falling behind academically.

As we look forward to the fall, we will be working closely with school districts to make sure that, regardless of how they are able to open schools, we continue to provide access to reading materials, whether by adding books to their library collection that can be checked out and picked up, or by finding some alternate solution to get books directly to students. We are committed to continuing our work in a way that will help students right now, and have a lasting impact into the future in the shape of improved school libraries that offer students high interest, culturally relevant, and high quality reading choices, and that allow students to become lifelong readers and learners.

Please consider donating to support this critical need. Don’t let our most vulnerable students fall behind academically, or miss the opportunity to escape through a good book. To avoid credit card transaction fees and make your donation dollars go further, you may donate by check. Checks can be addressed to Access Books Bay Area and mailed to 47 Octavia Street, San Francisco, CA 94102. For any additional information about this giveaway, feel free to contact

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Access Books Bay Area is looking for partners to help us take on this momentous and important work! If you are a part of, or have connections to, an organization that would be interested and willing to partner with us to provide resources, warehouse space for book sorting and bundling, or volunteers for book distribution, please email