Season’s Readings, everyone!
The time of year to reflect and take stock is upon us, and we hope you can easily recall all the ways that books made your year great—the amazing new books you read, the lively conversations you had about books, the bookish friends and writers you connected with. At the National Book Foundation, the staff taps in to their personal love of books every day and strives to spread that passion far and wide, particularly to young people and those not nearly well-enough served by book culture.
We, the members of the Foundation's Book Council, are a group of 22 individuals who care deeply about books and support the efforts of the National Book Foundation to make books matter every day of the year. In 2018, beyond presenting the 69th annual National Book Awards and the 13th annual 5 Under 35 honors, the Foundation achieved a number of important milestones. We’re pleased to share with you some of the highlights of 2018 so far!
Education & Access—a commitment to making access to books a priority, particularly for young people
Book Rich Environments distributed 420,000 free books to children and families living in public housing nationwide, helping build first-time home libraries for tens of thousands; BookUp, an after-school and summer reading club for middle-schoolers, entered its 14th year and to date his given away 36,000 free books to kids in four states nationwide; Raising Readers was launched to empower adults who work with and raise children to expand their own love of books and reading, in order to better model the habit of reading for pleasure with the young people in their lives; and Teen Press Conference celebrated its 20th year, distributing free books to students in NYC and Miami and giving the unique opportunity to connect and interact directly with National Book Awards authors.
Public Programs—a robust annual calendar of author-focused public programs that serve book-loving audiences across the nation
Through the newly launched NBF Presents, National Book Foundation authors are on the road—visiting more public libraries, universities, performance centers, and book festivals in more states than ever before; Author in Focus was launched, marking a year-long campaign to celebrate the work of James Baldwin, to uplift this seminal American author among librarians, teachers, and booksellers, and to introduce him to students and justice-involved youth nationwide; and Literature for Justice is a new program that creates a space to contextualize and humanize—through books—the issue of mass incarceration in America.
With your help in 2019, the National Book Foundation can reach more readers of all ages across the country and welcome all Americans into a national conversation centered around great books. They can top 1 million free books distributed through Book Rich Environments and they can expand Raising Readers to reach even more families.
Has there ever been a better time to protect, stimulate, and promote discourse in American society? We think not! Please help the National Book Foundation with a donation in any amount to keep up this year’s tremendous momentum and ensure that books have a prominent place at the center of American culture for decades to come.
— with gratitude, from the Book Council of the National Book Foundation