Educational Institutions

Wondermore Inc.

  • Newton, MA
  • www.wondermoreboston.org

Mission Statement

Wondermore cultivates children's curiosity, creativity and academic achievement by igniting in them a love of good books and connecting them to the dynamic creators of those books.

Main Programs

  1. Authors-in-Schools
  2. What's New in Children's Books

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Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

According to the most recent demographic information available on the Boston public schools, from FY14, 78% of students are low income. The schools serving these students do not have the resources to enrich and enhance the curriculum and cultivate children’s curiosity, creativity and academic achievement by bringing acclaimed children’s authors and illustrators in to the classroom. Within this context, Wondermore’s charge is to serve students and teachers in Boston public schools in which at least 75% of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

ruling year

1989

Executive Director since 2015

Self-reported

Ms. Rebecca L Coll

Keywords

Self-reported

literacy, reading, professional development

Notes from the Nonprofit

Wondermore (formerly as the Foundation for Children's Books) has sustained itself since its inception in 1983 through the generosity of individual donors and grantors, and through well-attended fee-based professional development events. Wondermore has established itself as a leader both in enlightening and informing parents and educators about “What's New in Children's Books" through our eponymous annual conference, and also in bringing children's authors and illustrators into underserved Boston public schools. Wondermore counts among its early and current supporters such award-winning authors and illustrators of children's literature as Gregory Maguire (author of Wicked, now an award-winning Broadway musical), Rita Williams-Garcia (Newbery Honor Book award winner for One Crazy Summer) and Kadir Nelson (Caldecott award winner for Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story of the Underground Railroad). Wondermore also has long-standing partnerships with Lesley University, several Boston-area children's book publishers and other literacy-based non-profits such as the Boston Book Festival.

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EIN

04-2795274

 Number

1104824428

Also Known As

FCB

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

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

At Wondermore, we believe that by facilitating powerful interactions between the creators of children’s books and underserved K-8 students in Boston, we help motivate children to become better readers and writers. Author visits and residencies organized by Wondermore extend and enhance the literacy curriculum in underserved schools, inspire and support teachers and librarians, and provide new ways to engage students in reading and writing.

In addition to these effects on literacy engagement, Wondermore author and illustrator programs also offer a profound opportunity for the dynamic, inspiring creators of children’s books to meet, work with, and share their creative journeys with both students and teachers.

Wondermore is the only non-profit organization whose primary mission is to bring children’s authors and illustrators into underserved Boston public schools for visits and workshops. Wondermore is also the only non-profit organization that donates books related to its author and illustrator visits to students, classrooms and libraries in underserved Boston public schools.

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

Authors-in-Schools

We cultivate children's curiosity, creativity and academic achievement by bringing acclaimed children's authors and illustrators into under-resourced K-8 Boston public schools, for visits and writing workshops at no cost to the school or students. We align these visits and workshops in such a way that curriculum is enhanced and illuminated.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$13,200

Program 2

What's New in Children's Books

Wondermore has established itself as a leader in enlightening and informing parents and educators about “What’s New in Children’s Books” through our eponymous conference, held in Boston each November.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$1,200

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?
    Wondermore has set three-year goals for its Authors-in-Schools program. This program forms the core of our mission to bring children’s authors and illustrators into underserved Boston public schools, aligning these visits in such a way that curriculum is enhanced and illuminated. In FY16, we plan to sponsor 14 visits by children’s authors and illustrators in 9 underserved Boston public schools, educating and inspiring 1,200 students as readers and writers. In FY17, we plan to sponsor 16 visits by children’s authors and illustrators in 10 underserved Boston public schools, reaching almost 1,300 students. In FY18, we plan to sponsor 18 visits by children’s authors and illustrators in 10 underserved Boston public schools, reaching over 1,400 students.

  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Each year, we have a target number of schools with which we would like to partner, based on strategic plan work and fundraising realities. Then, we balance requests from schools with author availability and curriculum alignment and begin the important work of collaborating with authors and illustrators, publishing houses and our local bookstore partners to keep the costs of the visits within our budget.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    In 2014, Wondermore made a decision to expand its core program of bringing authors and illustrators into underserved schools by growing the number of annual visits and the number of schools and students served. To support this growth, Wondermore doubled its staff from one part-time employee to two.

    Together, these two employees run the operations of the organization: vetting and approving schools for visits, working with teachers to identify areas of curriculum which could be enhanced by an author or illustrator visit, contacting authors and illustrators and coordinating the logistics of their visits, communicating with publishing houses and others to seek donations of books for school visits, and managing all the donor outreach and development work that allows us to continue our programming. Doubling our staff has doubled our salary expense, but is critical to our growth and enabling us to meet the increasing demand for our programs.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    In each fiscal year, as we have since the inception of the Authors-in-Schools program, we track, through observation and confirmation with our partners, the number of schools in which we organize a visit, the number of author or illustrator visits to each school, the grades visited, the number of students involved in the visits, and the number of books Wondermore donates. We also track, through direct feedback from teachers, librarians and principals, the extent to which the author or illustrator visit enhanced and illuminated the curriculum.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Wondermore is a small organization making a big impact, connecting students and teachers in underserved Boston public schools with the dynamic creators of children’s books. Our name both suggests the idea that books open our minds and stimulate our imaginations and directs us to “wonder more” about our world and use books to feed that wonder. Examples of our impact on students in underserved Boston public school include:

    • For several years, 5th-graders at Roxbury Prep have read author Rita Williams-Garcia’s book, “One Crazy Summer,” a National Book Award Finalist, Coretta Scott King Award Winner and Newbery Honor book. Within two weeks of finishing the book in April 2015, Wondermore brought Ms. Williams-Garcia to each of their classrooms to lead high-energy book discussions with teachers and students.

    • Illustrator/graphic novelist Gareth Hinds was invited by Wondermore to share his contemporary interpretation of “Romeo and Juliet” with 100 7th graders at Umana Academy in East Boston in February 2015. Wondermore provided a copy of Hinds’ book to each student. This was the first year the students had read Shakespeare, and Hinds’ book supplemented and enhanced their understanding significantly, according to teachers.

    • Author Loree Burns, a PhD in microbiology who writes award-winning science books for children, was invited by Wondermore to visit 5th graders at the Trotter School in Dorchester in April 2015 in the middle of their unit on water cycles to discuss her book “Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion.” Wondermore donated 50 copies of the book and inscribed each one to individual students.

    The demand for visits by Wondermore authors and illustrators to Boston public schools is high, as is the interest by authors and illustrators in visiting underserved Boston public schools. At present, we have more schools that would like us to bring an author or illustrator for a visit, and more authors and illustrators who are interested in making a visit to an underserved Boston public school, than we have the capacity to support. Substantial resources are devoted to vetting and approving new schools for visits, working with teachers to identify areas of curriculum which could be enhanced by an author or illustrator visit, contacting authors and illustrators and coordinating the logistics of their visits and communicating with publishing houses and others to seek donations of books for school visits, as well as managing all the donor outreach and development work that allows us to continue our programming. We have not been able to meet demand for our programming, but follow a strategy to support sustainable growth.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

According to the most recent demographic information available on the Boston public schools, from FY14, 78% of students are low income. The schools serving these students do not have the resources to enrich and enhance the curriculum and cultivate children’s curiosity, creativity and academic achievement by bringing acclaimed children’s authors and illustrators in to the classroom. Within this context, Wondermore’s charge is to serve students and teachers in Boston public schools in which at least 75% of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

Additional Documents

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External Reviews

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Financials

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

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Operations

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

Wondermore Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Executive Director

Ms. Rebecca L Coll

BIO

Wondermore is pleased to announce that Rebecca Lindy Coll has been named its new Executive Director. With more than fifteen years of experience in non-profit leadership Rebecca brings with her program management skills she learned while working at the Wharton School in Philadelphia, fundraising acumen from her years as trustee and board chair of Vermont Commons School in South Burlington, VT, and communications skills from her early years as a graphic designer in Washington D.C.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Andrea Mintz

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

No

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?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

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

No

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

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

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

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

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

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


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Volunteers.
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies
Yes
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
No
We use other methods to support diversity