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Childrens Book Drive

Collect and distribute books to under-resourced classrooms or disadvantaged families.

Community Contact Information:

First Books


Hope House

Washington DC



Contact: Brenda Marbury

The Pajama Program




  • Provide books for low-income communities and families.
  • Actively combat increasing rates of illiteracy amongst American children.
  • Unify congregation/community to combat a local issue in a tangible way.



Book Drives provide reading materials to local literacy projects, mentoring programs or national organizations that distribute children’s books to under-resources classrooms or disadvantaged families.


When coordinating a Book Drive, it is important to provide ample notification for participants. Advertise the drive throughout your Religious School, in the synagogue newsletter and by word of mouth. Encourage various committees within your community to donate – Sisterhoods, Brotherhoods or youth groups. And don’t forget to build partnerships with local bookstores or publishing houses to donate books or to provide discount for individuals making purchases for the Book Drive.

Project Implementation: 

Book Drives can be held in one day or can be an ongoing project. Try collecting books at your Bar/Bat Mitzvah, between the High Holidays or throughout the eight days of Chanukah.

Book Drives with a Twist:

  • Pick a specific age, topic or gender. For example, ask participants to bring books for a second grade reading level, books about sports/animals/travel/etc., books with chapter, series books or books specifically for boys or girls.
  • Ask families to donate books reflective of the age of their children (e.g. if you’re 13, bring in a book for a 13 year old).


According to First Book, research demonstrates that the majority of children from low-income families have no books in their home or classrooms – leading to increased illiteracy and low literary rates. By providing books to classrooms and families, individuals and congregations can actively combat this growing societal gap.