Wondermore Inc.

aka FCB   |   Jamaica Plain, MA   |  www.wondermoreboston.org

Mission

Wondermore connects Boston-area students to authors and illustrators who reflect our diverse and vibrant communities. We envision a world in which all children have the opportunity to see themselves in the books they read and are inspired to become lifelong learners.

Ruling year info

1989

Executive Director

Ms. Rebecca Lindy Coll

Main address

PO Box 300 188

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

The Foundation for Children's Books Inc.

EIN

04-2795274

NTEE code info

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.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Spring 2017 results of annual statewide standardized tests report that only 33% of Boston public school students in grades 3-8 perform at ‘proficient’ or higher levels in English Language Arts, as compared to 50% statewide. We know that one in six children who are not reading proficiently in 3rd grade do not graduate from high school on time. We also know that students who live in poverty are three times more likely to drop our or fail to graduate on time than their more affluent peers; if they also read poorly the rate is six times greater than for proficient readers. For black and Latino students, the combined effect of poverty and poor reading skills in the third grade makes those students eight times more likely to drop out or fail to graduate on time. This problem is compounded by the fact that most students also do not have a trained librarian at their school to promote literacy, or ready access to a wide variety of books in their classrooms or available to bring home.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

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.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

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.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students who demonstrate improved overall literacy

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Authors-in-Schools

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of students served by a curriculum-aligned Authors-in-Schools visit that reinforces literacy and encourages reading.

Number of books distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Authors-in-Schools

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Donated books related to an Authors-in-Schools classroom visit to students, classrooms, and school libraries in Boston.

Number of author/illustrator visits

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Authors-in-Schools

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of visits by authors and illustrators to underserved K-8 Boston public schools.

Number of classrooms visited

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Authors-in-Schools

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of classrooms of students participating in an Authors-in-Schools visit facilitated by Wondermore in an underserved K-8 Boston public schools.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

By working directly with Boston public school educators, Wondermore’s programming addresses the lack of reading resources, both in school and at home, for low-income K-8 Boston public schools students. Since launching our program in 2004, Wondermore has inspired over 10,000 young readers, and brought 52 authors and illustrators into classrooms in more than 40 elementary and middle schools in Boston. Just in the last year, 2,600 students participated in an Authors-in-Schools visit during one of 117 classroom sessions. And, beginning in September of 2017, we have been able to give a book to every student in every classroom participating in our program to keep and take home, an extension of our programming that further supports our focus on reading.

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.

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. In 2017, we added a 3rd part time staff person.

Together, these three 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. Growing our staff has increased our salary expense, but is critical to our growth and enabling us to meet the increasing demand for our programs.

The population of students we serve is diverse, so we develop visits from authors/illustrators of color or a bi-lingual or multi-cultural authors/illustrators – someone whose persona or work resonates with the students. Often, an Authors-in-Schools visit facilitated by Wondermore is the first time students interact directly with one of these important role models. Our research has shown that as role models, their message to kids regarding the importance of reading, writing, or illustration – and how accessible these skills are to everyone – makes a very deep impression. Demographic information published by the Boston Public Schools in 2016 shows that 86% of their students identify as non-white, and 45% do not have English as a first language. Reflecting this student population, of the authors and illustrators whom Wondermore has brought to schools in the last two years, 79% are themselves people of color and/or focus their work primarily on multi-racial or multi-cultural themes.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Wondermore promotes literacy by bringing diverse authors and illustrators to Boston-area Title 1 schools, enabling students to see themselves in books they read. As a small Boston-area nonprofit, we run curriculum-aligned author visits in Title 1 Schools across the city. We predominantly serve students from diverse backgrounds.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We recently moved all our programming in Boston-area schools to a virtual format after consulting with schools and authors and cautiously discussed the altered situation with all participants. Based on this feedback, we adjusted the programming with an adjusted concept that better works for the online format.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Wondermore Inc.
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Wondermore Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/14/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Scotty McConnaughey

Aimee Bryant

Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

Justin Kesselman

Scotty McConnaughey

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Deborah Froggatt

Jody Trinchet

Leah Daly

Deborah Froggatt

Cassandra Prince

Louis Dale

Adekunle Babalola

Thomas Cooperrider

Poonam Nande-Stevenson

Judi Seldin

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and 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? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/14/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/14/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.