My Very Own Library and Scholastic Book Fairs Expand Collaboration to Provide 500k New Books to Students

50,000 Students from New Jersey, Delaware, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, California, and the Dominican Republic Will Each Choose 10 Free Books, Meet Favorite Children’s Book Authors and Participate in School-Wide Literacy Events Throughout the Year

NEW YORK – November 26, 2018 – According to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 6th Edition, households with income less than $35K only have an average of 69 children’s books vs. 127 books for kids in households with income more than $100K. To help close this equity gap and create literacy-rich experiences for children, My Very Own Library (MVOL), an international initiative that encourages literacy by supplying students in need with books, in collaboration with Scholastic Book Fairs, a division of Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, are expanding efforts to support 50,000 students in 95 schools—an increased reach of more than 10,000 kids. 

To learn more about the My Very Own Library program, visit:

The collaboration between MVOL and Scholastic harnesses the power of choice, which the Kids & Family Reading Report shows is a key motivator among kids—a majority of kids agree their favorite books, and the ones they are more likely to finish, are books that they have picked out themselves. Students participating in the MVOL program are able to self-select 10 titles that interest them from three Scholastic Book Fairs throughout the school year. Additionally, MVOL will continue to keep kids and families excited about reading by providing schools with support to host family literacy events, and will coordinate school visits and book signings this school year featuring award-winning children’s authors including Stephen Savage, Natasha Tarpley, Angela Cervantes, and Daniel José Older.

Now through the end of the school year, the MVOL program will support schools in Newark, NJ; Delaware; Milwaukee, WI; Kansas City, MO; Chicago, IL; Richmond, CA; and the Dominican Republic: 

  • Newark, NJ: 22,000 students from 35 public schools will take home 220,000 children’s books (Partner Organization: United Way of Essex and West Hudson)
  • Delaware: 5,900 students from 14 public schools across the state will take home 59,000 children’s books (Partner Organization: United Way of Delaware)
  • Milwaukee, WI: 5,900 students from 14 public schools will take home 59,000 children’s books (Partner Organization: United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County)
  • Kansas City, MO: 3,585 students from nine public schools will take home 35,850 children’s books (Partner Organization: United Way of Greater Kansas City)
  • Chicago, IL: 1,500 students from four charter schools and 8,000 students from 17 public schools will take home 95,000 children’s books (Partner Organizations: University of Chicago and University of Chicago Charter Schools) 
  • Richmond, CA: 875 students from one middle school and one high school at Making Waves Academy will take home 8,750 children’s books (Partner Organization: Making Waves Foundation)
  • Dominican Republic: 2,000 students from the Dominican Republic attending four DREAM Project Schools will take home 20,000 children’s books (Partner Organization: Dream Project)

The MVOL program will also engage parents and teachers by providing $1,000 in grant funding to host three family literacy events, which promote the importance of family engagement in growing a child’s love for reading.

The MVOL program began in 2011 when founder Anne Feeley (1954–2012) started the initiative in Newark, NJ, after a realization that something more had to be done to generate excitement about reading for underserved students in her hometown. Anne believed “children who own books have better lives. The more books the better. It’s that simple.” In these past eight years alone, My Very Own Library has given away more than 2 million books to students.


My Very Own Library has inspired my child to read more, use his imagination, and paint his world in vivid color,” said a parent from Newark Public Schools.

It has always been the mission of Scholastic Book Fairs to increase access to books and empower children to choose the books that they want to read,” said Alan Boyko, President of Scholastic Book Fairs.“The books that students receive through My Very Own Library will help them develop both a love for reading and the confidence they’ll need to succeed in the classroom and later in life.



Press Contact:

Allyson Barkan
(212) 389-3469