The experience of discovering stories across cultures, genres, themes, and formats is more likely to nurture young people’s lifelong love of reading. AOB partners with 86% of the city’s Title I schools to do just that – provide books and enrichment activities for students who may not otherwise have access to such opportunities. AOB brings authors and illustrators into classrooms, allowing students to connect with book creators from diverse perspectives during small-group sessions and deepen their understanding of these books. Every student and school receive free books, while in-school engagements go beyond the book to include other experiential learning. Through multi-session visual arts and STEM residencies, students further explore related concepts while strengthening their literacy muscles. Serving over 10,000 students and distributing 12,000+ books a year, AOB delivers a clear message: your story matters.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 4

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Fairfax; VA-City of Falls Church

Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Population(s) Served: Individuals with Disabilities; Individuals who identify as LGBTQ; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Veterans/Military Families; Immigrants/Refugees

Schools They Work In: We are in over 100 public and public charter schools in the DC metro area.

  • Number of children's books donated annually:   11,500+
  • Number of children we prepare for success in school annually:   9,500
  • Number of events we offer by award winning children's authors and illustrators in low income schools each year:   172
  • Number of books we donate each school year to low income school libraries and classrooms:   Over 1,200
  • Number of local schools (Head Start through 12th grade), after school programs, and youth programs in which we host author events:   135

Awards & Recognition

Read Africa Award: Founder Dara La Porte October 24, 2015

Volunteer of the Year Award at Martha's Table 2105-16: Janet Zwick, Education Director AOB


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Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for An Open Book Foundation is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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