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 high-quality and interesting books to teachers, students, caregivers, and community partners through book grants, book nooks, and our free children's bookstore in Pilsen.

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Dolly Parton Imagination Library

We partner with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to send children in ten different Chicago zip codes free, age- appropriate books. The 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 students who are behind their reading level. We train volunteers to be literacy coaches who read with a consistent child for 30 minutes each week.

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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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Early Childhood Residencies and Storytimes

Residencies are early literacy skill-building programs that focus on Kindergarten readiness. For 8 weeks, we teach literacy units grounded in Illinois Early Learning Standards at daycares or early childhood centers. Storytimes are read aloud programs for kids and families. Storytimes model early literacy skills for families and actively encourage them to use similar strategies at home. This program is only currently offered for community partners/ organizations and schools

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