Programs are the heart of Open Books. From one-on-one reading practice with young students to book grants to literacy workshops, we transform lives through reading, writing, and the power of used books.

Book Access

We provide access to books through book grants, book nooks, and our free children's bookstore in Pilsen. Teachers, students, caregivers, and community partners receive high quality and high interest books to fit their needs.

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Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Dolly Parton Imagination Library serves Children ages 0-5 living in our priority Chicago zip codes. Books arrive by mail each month from birth until the child turns five. Each one is brand new and carefully selected by a panel of experts on childhood literacy and early education.

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Reading Buddies

Reading Buddies is an in-school program for 2nd and 3rd grade students who need support to achieve grade reading level. Volunteers are trained as literacy coaches and read with their buddies once a week.

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Early Childhood Residencies and Storytimes

Residencies are an early literacy skill-building program for daycares and early childhood centers. Literacy units are grounded in Illinois Early Learning Standards and the focus is on kindergarten readiness. This program is currently available for select community partners.

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Parent and Caregiver Workshops

Parent and Caregiver Workshops educate parents and caregivers who want to build their children’s literacy skills at home. Workshops support groups of parents and caregivers of young children, as well as community organizations directly serving children.

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North Lawndale Reads

North Lawndale Reads is an ongoing campaign designed to increase the literacy of all residents in North Lawndale. Its goals are to increase the number of prenatal-to-5 children in North Lawndale who are school ready when they enter Kindergarten, increase the number of students in North Lawndale who meet or exceed grade-level reading benchmarks, and to increase community cohesion through literacy experiences.

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