Educational Institutions

Reader To Reader Inc

  • Amherst, MA
  • www.readertoreader.org

Mission Statement

Reader to Reader, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to expanding literacy and learning opportunities for the nation’s most chronically underserved and vulnerable communities, including inner-city schools, Native American reservations, and poor rural towns. Reader to Reader accomplishes this primarily through innovative literacy programs, book donation programs, and the development of partnerships with schools districts that extend the boundaries and capacity of the education system to transform struggling students into joyful and engaged lifelong learners.

Main Programs

  1. Program 1
  2. Read, Think, Share
  3. Blueprint for Success
  4. DiscoverBooks
  5. Book and Computer Donations
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

In 2002, Reader to Reader began meeting literacy needs through a single book donation program. Since then, we have helped to channel resources worth more than $45,000,000—including computers and over 5,000,000 books—to over 600 under-resourced schools and libraries in the U.S., South America, Eastern Europe, and Africa.

Other countries served include Costa Rica, Ghana, Haiti, India, Albania, Kosovo, Trinidad & Tobago, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

ruling year

2003

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Mr. David Mazor

Keywords

Self-reported

free, books, literacy, library, libraries, schools, mentoring, free computers, family literacy, book donations

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EIN

03-0496901

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Nonmonetary Support N.E.C. (B19)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Our Hard Work Brings Results

Over $45 million dollars worth of books and computers donated and counting!
Over 2 million books shipped to rebuild school libraries devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Over 3.5 million books shipped to the Navajo Nation.
Over 600 under-resourced schools across the US have received books from the Reader to Reader program throughout their school year.
Major initiatives in Bridgeport, Connecticut; Louisiana, rural Mississippi, Detroit, Michigan; Massachusetts; rural Maine; the Navajo Reservation; and Compton, California.
Rural community library initiatives in Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.
All books provided completely free of charge, including shipping.
Over 1,000 students across the United States participate in our Read, Think, Share mentoring program.
Computer labs built on the Navajo Reservation, western Massachusetts, Ghana, Trinidad & Tobago and Kosovo.
We continue to supply books and supplies to projects serving 14 countries!

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Nationwide School Library Program. Currently in over 400 schools across the United States. Special Book Initiatives: Bridgeport Book Project: Aiding under-resourced school libraries in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Detroit Book Project: Aiding under-resourced school libraries in Detroit, Michigan. Compton Book Project: Aiding under-resourced school libraries in Compton, California. Maine Book Project: Aiding poor rural Maine schools. Massachusetts Book Project: Aiding under-resourced schools in Massachusetts. Louisiana Book Project: Aiding poor schools in rural Louisiana and inner-city New Orleans. Massachusetts Book Project: Aiding over 20 schools in Boston, Holyoke, Springfield, and Worcester, assachusetts. Mississippi Book Project: Aiding 21 of the poorest Mississippi school districts. Native American Book Project: Aiding tribal schools on the Arapaho, Navajo, and Pine Ridge reservations. Historically Black Colleges Book Project: Aiding UNCF historically African-American colleges. Mentoring Programs Doris Hiatt Mentoring Program This innovative mentoring program brings together children from low-income backgrounds and college student reading mentors to read books and discuss them online in a specially designed forum. The students not only receive positive feedback and academic support, but also much-needed role models. Navajo Mentoring Program This special program links Navajo high school students with Amherst College student reading mentors to read books and discuss them online in a specially designed forum. In addition, the reading mentors travel to the Navajo reservation in order to work one to one with the students and to learn firsthand about Navajo life and culture. The Navajo students then spend a week at Amherst College learning about the college experience about a wide variety of career options first hand from scientists, doctors, lawyers, writers and artists. The goal of the trip is to motivate them to attend college; to give them an understanding of the college application process; and to help them see that academic achievement in high school is the key to success in college. Computer Donation Program Donates reconditioned computers of recent vintage to under-resourced schools.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 2

Read, Think, Share

Read, Think, Share is a classroom-based program coupled with online mentoring which serves struggling readers and designed to foster a love of reading, improve literacy skills, reduce behavior problems, and reduce drop-out rates.

Category

Literacy

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

None

Budget

Program 3

Blueprint for Success

Blueprint for Success helps inner-city high schoolers in Springfield, MA build a deeper understanding of college life, academics, and the application process, showing them that college is a real and tangible option. The program is an intensive college SAT prep and matching program.

Category

Postsecondary Education

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

Program 4

DiscoverBooks

DiscoverBooks promotes family reading and health to help young parents become active participants in their children’s development of early literacy. Parents learn how to take on the key role of being their child’s first teacher, while finding their voice to further their own education. The program runs in Holyoke and Springfield, MA. The Holyoke programs are built around English language classes for participating parents.

Category

Educational Programs

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

None

Budget

Program 5

Book and Computer Donations

Through donation programs, we leverage the support of volunteers to channel hundreds of thousands of books annually to under-resourced schools, libraries, shelters, and community centers. We distribute donated computers to the most needy schools and libraries, most of whom have lost their technology to natural disasters.

Category

Education & Technology

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

None

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Reader to Reader knows that being literate is necessary for everyday living, but we also know that to be a reader is to be empowered—empowered to become a more resilient individual with broader perspectives who can move beyond challenging life circumstances. And we know that this type of empowerment strengthens larger communities.

    As a result, in 2007 we began to develop and implement innovative programs to create and support readers. These programs target low-income and minority populations and include direct service programs, classroom-based mentoring programs, and family literacy programs. Direct service programs target those at risk of dropping out of school as well as teen moms and their children, and they emphasize free reading and early childhood literacy. Mentoring programs target struggling readers and emphasize free reading, development of comprehension and communication skills, and college as a viable future option. Family programs target young parents and emphasize the importance of reading and education for both them and their children.

    We aim to support all learners in achieving their educational goals through innovative and impactful programs and targeted resource donations.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Reader to Reader currently operates two types of programs across the U.S. and internationally: donation programs and literacy programs. Through donation programs, we leverage the support of volunteers to channel hundreds of thousands of books annually to under-resourced schools, libraries, shelters, and community centers. We distribute donated computers to the most needy schools and libraries, most of whom have lost their technology to natural disasters.

    Through three different innovative literacy programs, we leverage technology and relationships with school districts, colleges and universities, educators, writers, and artists to help low-income and minority populations become empowered readers.

    Read, Think, Share is a classroom-based program coupled with online mentoring which serves struggling readers and designed to foster a love of reading, improve literacy skills, reduce behavior problems, and reduce drop-out rates.

    Blueprint for Success (previously known as College Knowledge) helps inner-city high schoolers in Springfield build a deeper understanding of college life, academics, and the application process, showing them that college is a real and tangible option. The program is an intensive college SAT prep and matching program.

    DiscoverBooks promotes family reading and health to help young parents become active participants in their children’s development of early literacy. Parents learn how to take on the key role of being their child’s first teacher, while finding their voice to further their own education. The program runs in Holyoke and Springfield, MA.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Reader to Reader accomplishes great things for a small organization. We may have a small budget, a small yet passionate and driven staff and a small office but we leverage partnerships, motivated work-study students, experienced community volunteers and large amounts of resources to do big things where they are needed most. These traits give us the ability to implement both broad, large programs and small-scale, focused programs with equally high impact.

    The skills of community volunteers and student workers are invaluable to our work. Librarians, teachers, administrators, grant writers and admissions officers are all involved with our organization. We currently employ over 95 students from Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. All of our mentors are highly skilled in reading and writing, and have experience in or passion for teaching, education and reading. Continued outreach to local colleges will further diversify the backgrounds and perspectives of our mentors, which enriches the mentoring experience for the students we work with.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    The very first library we supported hadn't received a new book in forty years. If a student needed to write a report on the lunar landing, it would be impossible in that library. Thanks to our efforts, this is no longer the case for that school, but so many others are in desperate need of new and engaging reading material. We know libraries are the source of academic success, and as such require sustained, high-quality support.

    Our indicators include:
    • Increased access to reading materials that are high-quality, relevant, and interesting
    • Increased library resources for constituents, teachers and staff
    • Greatly improved library collections for new schools or libraries with our program
    • Increased interest in reading
    • Increased library usage, measured by the librarians quantitatively and qualitatively
    • Increased use of library materials in classrooms
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    What we have accomplished:
    Over $45 million dollars worth of books and computers donated and counting!
    Over 2 million books shipped to rebuild school libraries devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
    Over 3.5 million books shipped to the Navajo Nation.
    Over 550 under-resourced schools across the US receive books from the Reader to Reader program throughout their school year.
    Major initiatives in Bridgeport, Connecticut; Louisiana, rural Mississippi, Detroit, Michigan; Massachusetts; rural Maine; the Navajo Reservation; and Compton, California.
    Rural community library initiatives in Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.
    All books provided completely free of charge, including shipping.
    Over 1,000 students across the United States participate in our Read, Think, Share mentoring program.
    Computer labs built on the Navajo Reservation, western Massachusetts, Ghana, Trinidad & Tobago and Kosovo.
    We continue to supply books and supplies to projects serving 14 countries!

    Goals for the future:
    Our programs are force multipliers that work directly to improve literacy and learning opportunities for those who need it most. They have proven impact, are well-loved by teachers and students alike, and are readily scalable to meet the immediate and growing call for these kinds of programs. With more resources, we could bring our programs to more communities.

    We learn so much more each day about new and complicated needs of communities. As we’ve grown, we have based literacy coordinators directly within several communities, which has taught us that this is a vital element of truly collaborative direct service.There are so many ways in which literacy connects with other deeply important issues; placing literacy coordinators full-time within the community opens up a vast array of new possibilities to collaborate and change lives through literacy.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

In 2002, Reader to Reader began meeting literacy needs through a single book donation program. Since then, we have helped to channel resources worth more than $45,000,000—including computers and over 5,000,000 books—to over 600 under-resourced schools and libraries in the U.S., South America, Eastern Europe, and Africa.

Other countries served include Costa Rica, Ghana, Haiti, India, Albania, Kosovo, Trinidad & Tobago, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Social Media

Blog

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

READER TO READER, INC.
Fiscal year: Oct 01-Sep 30

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Reader To Reader Inc

Leadership

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mr. David Mazor

BIO

Reader to Reader's founder, David Mazor, has been widely recognized for his devotion to literacy. He has received the Celebrate Literacy Award from the International Reading Association, the Janet Dakin Award for Human Services, Special Citations from both the Massachusetts State House and State Senate, and the Massachusetts Literacy Champion Award. Mazor was one of four people nationwide to be profiled in the 2006 edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, and was featured on public radio's Marketplace Morning Report and in the Christian Science Monitor. Other books that highlight his literacy work are Everyday Philanthropist and Why Not Do What You Love? An Invitation to Calling and Contribution in a World Hungry for Your Gifts.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"As the founder and Executive Director of Reader to Reader, I am not only proud of the tremendous impact we have in bringing books and innovative literacy programs to underserved communities, but of how we have done it in such a cost-effective manner. Our budget is a fraction of what many other organizations run on but we are able to bring such big results through the creative use of volunteers, resources and partnerships. We are a true grassroots organization! We are based out of a basement storage room, but from there we are able to reach out and have a global impact. Our motto is “How are we going to change the world today?” I invite you to learn more about us and help us make a difference, one book at a time.
 

Sincerely,

David Mazor"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Ken Lopez

President emeritus of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America

Term: Oct 2010 - Oct 2011

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?