For too many children, books are a luxury. And it’s no coincidence that schools with the fewest books on the shelves have the highest percentage of students from low-income families, who have far lower proficiency levels in reading. An Open Book Foundation addresses this profound disparity, bringing award-winning authors and illustrators into 120 schools and organizations in and around DC, from Head Start programs to high schools. Fun, interactive reading and writing workshops engage students in the art of storytelling, and each child receives a signed book to take home (books are donated to school libraries and classrooms as well). Whenever possible, AOB seeks out authors and illustrators who are role models: students meet and connect with talented adults who look like them, grew up nearby, or had similar childhood experiences – and are then inspired to read and write their own stories. Since 2010, AOB has hosted over 400 events and donated over 25,000 books to the schools and organizations most in need. You can help bring literature – and learning – to life.

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 (FY2015)

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

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