About Us

Our mission is to give all children the chance to read and succeed.

Twenty years ago, Make Way for Books’ founder Dr. Mary Jan Bancroft answered a newspaper listing to read to four-year-olds at a preschool in Tucson. Mary Jan found that this center did not have age-appropriate, quality picture books. Deciding to explore this need further, Mary Jan found that most of the childcare centers serving economically-disadvantaged children had few to zero quality books for young children. That same year, Mary Jan founded Make Way for Books (MWFB) to meet this incredible need and began providing books to under-resourced sites and offering early literacy workshops for educators and parents. Today, MWFB has provided services to nearly 300 preschools and childcare centers. Each year, MWFB serves more than 30,000 children and families and 700 educators.

Check out the video below that features Dr. Mary Jan Bancroft and the story of Make Way for Books.


Our Core Values

Our core values center on the concept of empowerment. Empowerment is about breaking down barriers, building on strengths, and creating opportunities from those strengths. It is that positive force that carries hope and opportunity and creates genuine possibility and results. Learn more about our core values!

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