Following are links to organizations and websites that provide a treasure trove of useful information for adults who live and work with young people regarding literacy, reading and writing, literature, libraries, and more. Organizations are listed in alphabetical order.
Academy of American Poets
New York, New York
The Academy of American Poets was founded in 1934 to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry.
WETA Public Television
AdLit.org is a national multimedia project offering information and resources to the parents and educators of struggling adolescent readers and writers. AdLit.org is an educational initiative of WETA, the flagship public television and radio station in the nation’s capital, and is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and by the Ann B. and Thomas L. Friedman Family Foundation.
New York, New York
America Scores develops programs designed to empower students in urban communities using soccer, writing, creative expression, and service learning. With teamwork as the unifying value, America Scores inspires youth to lead healthy lifestyles, be engaged students, and become agents of change in their communities. Each program employs soccer as a building block for teaching academics, social skills, and teamwork among urban youth.
American Booksellers Association
White Plains, New York
Founded in 1900, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) is a not-for-profit organization devoted to meeting the needs of its core members of independently owned bookstores with retail storefront locations through advocacy, education, research, and information dissemination. The ABA actively supports free speech, literacy, and programs that encourage reading. The association also hosts the annual ABA Convention in conjunction with BookExpo America each spring.
The American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, providing association information, news, events, and advocacy resources for members, librarians, and library users. Founded on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
Artists for Literacy
San Francisco, California
Artists for Literacy’s mission is to influence community, public, and private sector support for literacy, and to enrich the lives of reading challenged youth and adults by responding to the need for dynamic and innovative learning tools that foster literary and artistic appreciation, critical thinking, increased confidence, curiosity, and life-long learning. Artists for Literacy engages artists in the issue of literacy and channels their contributions into effective tools for teachers and students.
Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations
On February 1, 2009, Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) and the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) joined forces to become an expanded division of ALA known as the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, now United for Libraries. Through this partnership, United for Libraries brings together libraries’ voices to speak out on behalf of library services and free public access to information. United for Libraries is a national network of enthusiastic library supporters who believe in the importance of libraries as the social and intellectual centers of communities and campuses. No one has a stronger voice for libraries than those who use them, raise money for them, and govern them. By uniting these voices, library supporters everywhere will become a real force to be reckoned with at the local, state, and national levels.
The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
The mission of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is to establish literacy as a value in every family in America, by helping every family in the nation understand that the home is the child’s first school, that the parent is the child’s first teacher, and that reading is the child’s first subject; and to break the intergenerational cycle of illiteracy, by supporting the development of family literacy programs where parents and children can learn and read together.
Between the Lions
“Between the Lions” is an award-winning PBS television series that premiered in April 2000. It’s designed to foster the literacy skills of its viewers, while playfully demonstrating the joys of reading. Each show aims to give kids four to seven years old some of the experiences they need in order to become successful readers.
Initiated in 1984, the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! National Reading Incentive Program is dedicated to the mindset that, to make a difference, you really have to Read Your Heart Out™ and want to read every day. As the largest and longest-running corporate supported reading program, BOOK IT! is now fostering its second generation of program alumni.
Books For Kids Foundation
New York, New York
The Books for Kids Foundation is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting literacy among all the children with special emphasis on disadvantaged children and youth. Books for Kids donates books, creates libraries and participates in reading initiatives within community-based organizations social service agencies, schools, and under-served institutions. Since its founding in 1986, Books for Kids has provided children with more than five million books, built thirty-seven libraries and distributed reading materials through approximately 250 agencies in the New York area and throughout the United States.
The California Reading Association
San Clemente, California
The California Reading Association (CRA) is a nonprofit professional organization of educators who are actively involved in all aspects of reading and language arts education, from kindergarten through university levels. The state organization, an affiliate of the International Reading Association (IRA), consists of more than fifty-five active local reading councils located in different service areas around the state.
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established by public law in 1977 to promote books, reading, literacy, and libraries, as well as the scholarly study of books. Since its founding, the Center has established affiliate centers in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Center’s mission is carried out internationally through its overseas affiliates. More than 80 organizations are Center for the Book reading promotion partners both in the United States and abroad. Center for the Book programs include the Books & Beyond author series, in which writers from across the country come to the Library to discuss their work and their use of the Library’s extraordinary resources. The National Book Festival authors program is also a Center for the Book project. The Center also places special emphasis on young readers through reading and writing contests, the Read.gov website, and the new Young Readers Center in the Thomas Jefferson Building on Capitol Hill.
The Children’s Book Council
New York, New York
The Children’s Book Council (CBC) is the nonprofit trade association of children’s book publishers in North America, dedicated to supporting and informing the industry and fostering literacy. CBC is the official sponsor of Children’s Book Week and the Children’s Choice Book Awards. In addition, CBC co-sponsors the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature program with Every Child a Reader and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Council’s members include U.S. publishers and packagers of trade books for children and young adults.
Cooperative Children’s Book Center
School of Education
University of Wisconsin-Madison
At the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), a library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we are committed to identifying excellent literature for children and adolescents and bringing this literature to the attention of those adults who have an academic, professional, or career interest in connecting young readers with books.
de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection
McCain Library and Archives
The University of Southern Mississippi
The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection is one of North America’s leading research centers in the field of children’s literature. The Collection’s main focus is on American and British children’s literature, historical and contemporary. Founded in 1966 by Dr. Lena Y. de Grummond, the Collection holds the original manuscripts and illustrations of more than 1200 authors and illustrators, as well as 85,000+ published books dating from 1530 to the present.
Educational Book and Media Association
The Educational Book and Media Association is an association of publishers and distributors who are reputable and authoritative suppliers of educational paperbacks, pre-bound books and other materials to the school, library, and college market. Its distributor members offer schools and libraries volume discounts on a wide selection of titles, representing most major publishers and important small presses that publish for the educational market.
First Book provides access to new books for children in need. To date, First Book has distributed more than 125 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education by making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis. No matter how formats and technologies change, children from low-income families will still need access to rich and varied content. First Book is helping guide the publishing industry as it evolves so that all children can benefit from new technologies and flourish as readers.
The Freedom to Read Foundation
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees all individuals the right to express their ideas without governmental interference, and to read and listen to the ideas of others. The Freedom to Read Foundation was established to promote and defend this right; to foster libraries and institutions wherein every individual’s First Amendment freedoms are fulfilled; and to support the right of libraries to include in their collections and make available any work which they may legally acquire.
Great Books Foundation
The Great Books Foundation is an independent nonprofit educational organization that works toward a sustainable and just democracy. We create reading and discussion programs for students and adults with the conviction that literacy and critical thinking help develop reflective and well-informed citizens. We believe that civil and open discussion of the world’s enduring literature promotes empathy, understanding, and community, and that by working to develop reading and thinking skills, we advance the ultimate promise of democracy—participation for all.
Guys Read: A Literacy Initiative for Boys
Guys Read is a web-based literacy program for boys founded by author and First National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature Jon Scieszka. Its mission is to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers. Research shows that boys are having trouble reading, and that boys are getting worse at reading. No one is quite sure why. Some of the reasons are biological. Some of the reasons are sociological. The good news is that research also shows that boys will read — if they are given reading that interests them. Therefore, the biggest part of the Guys Read website is its collection of book titles, books that guys have said they like.
Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy
Penn State University College of Education
University Park, Pennsylvania
The Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy at Penn State’s mission is to advance the field of literacy through collaborative research, development, outreach, and leadership to improve practice, expanding access to high quality education and enriching the lives of individuals and families. Believing that literacy skills are best developed within meaningful contexts, the Institute’s initiatives have focused on the contexts of the family, workplace, and health. Within these contexts, our experienced staff assists providers with program design and delivery, customized instructional materials and assessment development, professional development (including distance learning), and program evaluations.
The International Board on Books for Young People
The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a nonprofit organization which represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together.
The International Book Project
The International Book Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes literacy, education, and global friendships by sending over 200,000 books annually to schools, libraries, churches, community organizations and Peace Corps Volunteers throughout the developing world and in the United States.
The International Literacy Association
The International Literacy Association (ILA) is a global advocacy organization, and literacy is its cause, passion, and reason for being. ILA publishes cutting-edge research on literacy and translates this research into practical resources for educators, students, and leaders involved in spreading literacy all across the world. Armed with a deep understanding of the history of reading and literacy research, ILA advocates for teachers’ and students’ needs and sets the standards for how literacy is taught and evaluated.
The International Literacy Institute
National Center on Adult Literacy (NCAL)
International Literacy Institute (ILI)
University of Pennsylvania
Graduate School of Education
Literacy.org at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education, is comprised of NCAL and ILI. Originally established as the Literacy Research Center in 1983, the National Center for Adult Literacy (NCAL) has been engaged for nearly three decades in cutting edge and high-impact research, innovation, and training in adult education and technology, as well as in other areas of adult basic education and literacy. NCAL specializes in assessment, intergenerational literacy, multi-disciplinary approaches, educational technology, professional development, and multimedia instructional design. The International Literacy Institute (ILI), established by UNESCO and the University of Pennsylvania in 1994, provides leadership in research, development, and training in the broad field of international literacy and educational development, with an emphasis on developing countries. Literacy.org is an important resource for research and development on literacy in the U.S. and worldwide.
The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library’s mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.
Literacy Research Association
The Literacy Research Association (LRA) is a community of scholars dedicated to promoting research that enriches the knowledge, understanding, and development of lifespan literacies in a multicultural and multilingual world. LRA is committed to ethical research that is rigorous, methodologically diverse, and socially responsible. LRA is dedicated to disseminating such research broadly so as to promote generative theories, informed practices and sound policies. Central to its mission, LRA mentors and supports future generations of literacy scholars.
The Nation’s Report Card
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences
of the U.S. Department of Education
The Nation’s Report CardTM informs the public about the academic achievement of elementary and secondary students in the United States. Report cards communicate the findings of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a continuing and nationally representative measure of achievement in various subjects over time.
National Association for the Education of Young People
The National Association for the Education of Young Children is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for children from birth through age eight.
National Association of Independent Schools
The National Association of Independent Schools’ mission is to act as the national voice of independent pre-collegiate education and as the center for collective action on behalf of its membership.
National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature
The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) provides recognition of the artistic achievements of illustrators and gallery exhibitions of their works. Additionally, the NCCIL designs educational programming that relates to illustrations in children’s literature in order to stimulate creativity, promote literacy, and to increase appreciation for art.
National Center for Early Development and Learning
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The National Center for Early Development & Learning was a national early childhood research project supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), formerly the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). Administratively based at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, NCEDL was a collaboration with the University of Virginia and University of California, Los Angeles. The center was created to provide national leadership and advance new knowledge in the field of early childhood development and learning. The center conducted research on issues of national importance in an effort to enhance the cognitive, social and emotional development of children birth through eight years and to support families. Goals of NCEDL were to: determine the state of the nation and conduct research on critical issues in early childhood practices; develop partnerships with diverse constituencies; synthesize knowledge and recommend future directions; and translate research into practice and disseminate information to diverse audiences.
National Center for Families Learning
The National Center for Families Learning, formerly known as National Center for Family Literacy, has helped more than one million families make educational and economic progress by pioneering – and continuously improving – family literacy programs since 1989. The organization emphasizes family literacy because study after study shows that family, home, and community are the true drivers of a child’s education. Literacy is essential to success in today’s economy, now more than ever. The family literacy approach harnesses the strength of parent-child bonds to help those who are most at risk of failing economically, emotionally, and socially.
National Council for the Social Studies
Silver Spring, Maryland
The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators. NCSS defines social studies as “the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence.”
National Council of Teachers of English
Since 1911, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has worked to advance teaching, research, and student achievement in English language arts at all scholastic levels.
National Education Association
The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA’s 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.
National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers. NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars.
National Parent-Teacher Association
The overall purpose of National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. For more than 100 years, National PTA has worked toward bettering the lives of every child in education, health, and safety. Founded in 1897 as the National Congress of Mothers by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst, National PTA is a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Today’s PTA is a network of millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools.
PEN America: Readers & Writers
PEN American Center
New York, New York
Readers & Writers started out as a literary training program for alternative schools, transforming over time into a producer of programs that bring books and authors to students. Throughout the years Readers & Writers has used a variety of book-based programming to cultivate popular interest in literature among readers of all ages.
The Pew Charitable Trusts
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and invigorate civic life.
Syracuse, New York
ProLiteracy Worldwide is a nonprofit international literacy organization based in Syracuse, NY, that was formed by the 2002 merger of Laubach Literacy International and Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. ProLiteracy Worldwide is now the oldest and largest nongovernmental literacy organization in the world and pursues a mission of sponsoring educational programs that help adults and their families acquire the literacy practices and skills they need to function more effectively in their daily lives.
Reach Out and Read National Center
Reach Out and Read (ROR) prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read’s evidence-based, three-part model into regular pediatric checkups: 1. Trained doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud, starting in infancy. 2. At each regular checkup from 6 months through 5 years of age, the child receives a new book to take home. 3. Many Reach Out and Read program sites create literacy-rich environments that include gently-used books for waiting room use and/or volunteer readers to model for parents the techniques of reading aloud to young children.
Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. RIF prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. RIF inspires children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice. RIF provides new, free books for children to choose from and make their own. The seeds of inspiration in these books have motivated children to follow their dreams and achieve their potential. Yes, it seems incredible for a book to launch a life, but it happens every day as hungry, inquisitive young minds reach out and grab hold of the new people, places, and ideas that books bring them. Planting seeds of inspiration in our nation’s most vulnerable children is what RIF and a network of more than 400,000 volunteers do. Whether in schools, homeless shelters, or community centers—wherever you find children—RIF volunteers spend countless hours distributing books, staging reading motivation activities, and promoting the importance of literacy in their communities.
WETA Public Television
Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. The Reading Rockets project is comprised of PBS television programs, available on videotape and DVD; online services, including the websites ReadingRockets.org and ColorinColorado.org; and professional development opportunities. Reading Rockets is an educational initiative of WETA, the flagship public television and radio station in the nation’s capital, and is funded by a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.
School Library Journal
New York, New York
School Library Journal is the place for librarians to find indispensable information needed to integrate libraries into the school curriculum, become leaders in the areas of technology, reading, and information literacy, and create high-quality collections for children and young adults.
Soho Center’s National Children’s Literacy Website
New York, New York
The National Children’s Literacy Website is a unique children’s literacy initiative and is part of the Soho Center’s National Children’s Literacy Information Project – a not-for-profit literacy initiative dedicated to advancing the literacy skills of young children, promoting literacy as an integral factor in the growth of society, and enhancing literacy in a variety of home and child care settings. We believe that reading is a fundamental skill needed by all, and we are proud of what we are doing to help children learn to read.
The Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The mission of Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education (SCALE) is to mobilize and support college students and campus-based programs to address the literacy needs of this country. Through a dynamic partnership between campus and community, SCALE develops leaders who are agents of social change.
United States Board on Books for Young People
The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) is a nonprofit organization devoted to building bridges of international understanding through children´s and young adult books; it serves as the U.S. national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).