School-Based Literacy

The Make Way for Books Story Project provides research-based early literacy support to educators, parents, and children at preschools, child care centers, and home providers.

Lending Libraries and Classroom Books

Make Way for Books provides preschools, child care centers, and home-care providers with high-quality, multicultural, cloth, board, and hardcover books for lending libraries and classroom collections. Nearly 300 lending libraries have been established. This year more than 32,000 books were checked out by families and shared together at home. 100% of sites reported an increase in their children’s pre-reading skills after participating in the program.

"Several of the parents had mentioned on their first home visit that they had never read to their four- year-old. Because of Make Way for Books’ services, by the end of year all of my students were being read to daily."

On-Site Consulting and Coaching

Make Way for Books Early Literacy Coaches offer a variety of interactive professional development workshops for about 500 early childhood educators each year. In addition, Early Literacy Coaches provide one-on-one coaching to support educators at preschools and child care centers in implementing storytimes, creating writing centers, integrating literacy into daily activities, supporting social-emotional development through literacy, and other methods of increasing the culture of literacy in their classrooms.

“Ever since our Early Literacy Coach has been coming to our classroom, the kids get really excited to see her and listen to her stories. The kids have also learned to take good care of our books. I am really excited to have our Early Literacy Coach come in our classroom once a week."

Family Literacy Events

Through family literacy events,  Make Way for Books Early Literacy Coaches showcase the preschool or child care centers’ lending libraries to the whole family. Make Way for Books staff help our preschool program sites engage parents and model ways that parents and other caregivers can share books and other literacy activities with their children. In prior years, 100% of participating parents increased the amount of time they spent reading with their young children as a result of the program.

Home-based Provider Programming

At informal monthly gatherings, referred to as cafecitos, home-based professionals learn strategies to support infants’, toddlers’, and preschool-age children’s language and literacy development. These gatherings, provided in English and Spanish, focus on a variety of literacy related themes (songs, felt boards, puppets, etc.) and educators receive high-quality books, literacy kits, other resources to support children in their care.

An ongoing monthly community of practice, The Story Project, focuses on strengthening the home-based provider community and supporting educators in fostering children’s language, literacy, and learning development through the lens of “my story,” “your story,” and “our story.”

Storytime Volunteers and Books to Keep

Weekly, storytime volunteers share books, songs, and puppets with toddlers and preschoolers at low-resource child care centers and preschools throughout our community. Children participating in The Story Project receive books to keep and share at home.

“Passing out the books has to be one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life! It was priceless to see all of the expressions on the kids’ face."


Learn more about the Storytime Volunteer Program >

Promoting Peace through Picture Books Project

The Promoting Peace through Picture Books Project is a literature-based program that provides young children and teachers with an opportunity to engage in creative and reflective activities toward being peacemakers. Support is provided in using picture books to foster generosity, kindness, compassion, tolerance, diversity, self-esteem, positive conflict resolution, and respect for the earth. Make Way for Books offers ongoing mentoring support and literacy guides that include literature-related activities, including sign-language, to help teachers support their children’s emergent literacy and social-emotional skills in a nurturing classroom.

“The curriculum and staff provided by Make Way for Books have been impeccable resources to support the lessons the students can learn from the books. The students have learned so much about caring, peacefulness, acceptance, & friendship! The books provided are helpful instruments for instilling positive character traits in our students.”