Founded in 2008, Link to Libraries' mission is to collect and distribute new books to elementary school libraries and nonprofit organizations and to enhance the language and literacy skills of children of all cultural backgrounds. Link to Libraries offers programs that promote childhood literacy skills by empowering children and their families to create a culture of literacy, assisting in the community-wide effort of diverse organizations that are helping children to be proficient readers by grade 4.
Link to Libraries receives funding from the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation for the Welcome to Kindergarten Program which distributes literacy kits to children entering kindergarten residing in Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee, Massachusetts. Kits consist of a book bag containing two new age-appropriate books, one of which is bilingual (written with Spanish and English side-by-side, introducing bilingual skills, increasing language and learning abilities and positively heighten awareness of other cultures). Books are chosen with consultation of the Springfield and Holyoke Public Schools' literacy directors.
95% of the organization's funding directly provides books to children in classrooms in public and private early care and education settings and to children in special programs such as temporary housing. Link to Libraries operates with 31 regular volunteers who collect, sort, stock, and prepare books for delivery to schools and community agencies. In addition, a volunteer with a Master's degree in education directs the Welcome to Kindergarten program and a volunteer with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism directs the Reading Any Place (RAP) program for children and families in temporary housing situations.
For more information about Link to Libraries visit www.linktolibraries.org.