My Very Own Library and Scholastic Book Fairs Provide New Books to Kids in Need

Contact: Josephine Djonovic, (212) 343-6876,
Alexandra Wladich, (212)-965-7353,

More than 38,000 students from 76 schools in Chicago, IL; Kansas City, MO; Milwaukee, WI; Newark, NJ; Richmond, CA; Delaware and the Dominican Republic will each receive 10 free books this school year to build home libraries

NEW YORK, NY—November 29, 2017—
According to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 6th Edition, 86% of children ages 6–17 agreed that it is “very important for my future to be a good reader,” however, kids from lower-income families have access to about half the number of books in their homes as their higher-income peers. To help ensure all students have access to books at home, My Very Own Library (MVOL), an international initiative that encourages literacy by supplying students in need with books, in collaboration with Scholastic Book Fairs will provide more than 38,000 students from schools in six states and the Dominican Republic the opportunity to choose and own 10 new children’s books for free from their schools’ book fair.

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

Throughout the 2017-2018 school year, the My Very Own Library program will support:

  • Newark, NJ: 20,000 students from 31 public schools will take home 200,000 children’s books (Partner Organization: United Way of Essex and West Hudson)
  • Delaware: 5,900 students from 14 schools across all three counties in DE will take home 59,000 children’s books (Partner Organization: United Way of Delaware)
  • Milwaukee, WI: 5,800 students from 14 public schools will take home 58,000 children’s books (Partner Organization: United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County)
  • Kansas City, MO: 2,657 students from seven public schools will take home 26,570 children’s books (Partner Organization: United Way of Greater Kansas City)
  • Chicago, IL: 1,500 students from four charter schools will take home 15,000 children’s books (Partner Organization: University of Chicago Charter Schools)
  • Richmond, CA: 780 students from one middle school and one high school at Making Waves Academy will take home 7,800 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)

In addition to providing free books from Scholastic Book Fairs, the MVOL program offers school visits from award-winning children’s book authors. During visits, the authors discuss the importance of reading and personally autograph and distribute more than 100 copies of their titles to participating students. This year, visiting authors include: Varian Johnson, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Allan Woodrow and more. Additionally, each school in the program is granted $1,000 in funding to host three family literacy events that coincide with each book fair event to encourage family engagement.


Providing children from lower-income families with access to books allows them to build their own home libraries, develop a love of reading, and become confident learners and leaders in the classroom,” said Alan Boyko, President of Scholastic Book Fairs. “Through our work with My Very Own Library and their partners, Scholastic is helping to place books into the hands of kids in need, giving them full ownership of books they have selected for themselves.

"I know I will become a better reader because of My Very Own Library,” Jordan, student at Milwaukee College Prep.

Founded in 2011 by the late Anne Feeley (1954-2012), My Very Own Library® (MVOL) is a literacy initiative with a mission to help encourage and support students love of reading by providing them the opportunity to build their very own home libraries. MVOL is hosted by seven non-profit organizations that roll out FREE Book Fairs, author visits, family literacy events, and special community partnership support to select low-income public schools in their communities. To date, My Very Own Library has provided more than 1.8 million books to students in Newark, NJ; Richmond, CA; Chicago, IL; Wilmington, DE; Milwaukee, WI; and the Dominican Republic. By summer 2017, My Very Own Library will have provided nearly 2.1 million books to students across all seven locations it will serve.

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