BookUp

Where lifelong readers begin

These kids are readers. Not reading for show, or reading because someone required, but reading because they love it.

—Mitchell S. Jackson, former BookUp teaching artist and author of The Residue Years

BookUp students celebrate on a field trip to Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, NY. Photo credit: Jordan Smith

BookUp, the National Book Foundation’s flagship educational program, believes reading for pleasure has a direct and substantial impact on young people’s success in school and careers. During after-school and summer programs, BookUp connects middle- and high-school students with local authors and runs free reading groups designed to improve participants’ social, emotional, and literacy skills. Young people also interact directly with the local literary community through author visits and field trips to libraries, museums, and bookstores.

Since its start in 2007, BookUp has given away over 35,000 free books, and each year helps 500 students build their first home libraries. In addition to books that groups select and read together in a book club–style format, students are given a budget to purchase books of their choosing during shopping trips to local bookstores. The program currently serves students at over 20 different sites in New York City, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Huntsville, TX.

Shawntai Brown

Nina Crews

Aliya S. King

Leah Lakins

Sheila Maldonado

Fatima Farheen Mirza

Amanda Nowlin-O'Banion

Amanda Panitch

Lilliam  Rivera

Alicia Anabel Santos

Megan Stockton

Matthew L. Thompson

Ivan Velez
BookUp participants at a workshop in 2018. Photo credit: Christian Rodriguez

New York City: School Year

New York City: Summer 2018

  • Grand Street Settlement at Beacon Community Center
  • Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee at PS 212Q
  • Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
  • PAL Wynn Center
  • Queens Community House at MS 210 Elizabeth Blackwell
  • SCAN NY at Coalition School for Social Change
  • South Asian Youth Action at JHS 202 Robert H. Goddard
  • St. Nicks Alliance at JHS 126 John Ericsson
  • The Children’s Village at the Drew Hamilton Community Center
  • The Salvation Army at the Bedford Community center
  • University Settlement Society at East Side Community High School
  • YMCA of Greater New York/Cross Island at PS 134Q

Detroit, MI

Huntsville, TX

Mance Park Middle School

Los Angeles, CA

Foshay Learning Center

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