Our mission is to give all children the chance to read and succeed.
Make Way for Books is an early literacy nonprofit that provides proven programs, services, and resources to 30,000 young children, parents, and educators throughout southern Arizona each year. Our mission is to give all children the chance to read and succeed. We provide proven programs to ensure our youngest children discover the joy of books, develop critical emergent literacy and language skills, and start school ready. We reach young children in the critical birth to 5 years to build a foundation for all future learning. Our theory of change is that we get to every caregiver in a child’s life and ensure that, that adult understands their incredible power to impact their child’s literacy, love of learning, and success.
Across all Make Way for Books programs:
97% of children develop critical emergent literacy and language skills that are the building blocks for future successful readers
98% of parents/caregivers gain skills and confidence to be their child’s first, most essential teacher
99% of early childhood educators gain skills to support the children in their care more effectively
Empowerment is the foundation for all of our work. 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.
Make Way for Books honors and celebrates the many perspectives, languages, cultures, and funds of knowledge that children and families possess. We work to ensure our staff reflects the children and families we serve and we build on the diverse strengths of families in our community to create lasting change for our youngest children.
Twenty years ago, Make Way for Books’ founder Dr. Mary Jan Bancroft found that many of the preschools and childcare centers serving economically-disadvantaged children in Tucson did not have quality books and literacy resources. In 1998, Mary Jan founded Make Way for Books and with the support of six volunteers, she began providing books and literacy workshops at five under-resourced preschools.
Today, Make Way for Books has a staff of 32, hundreds of volunteers, and last year we provided thousands of books and innovative programming to more than 30,000 children, families, and educators throughout southern Arizona.
Our Core Values
We have core values by which we do all of our work.
Each year, Make Way for Books impacts the lives of more than 30,000 children, families, and educators throughout southern Arizona. We provide comprehensive programs that meet the diverse needs of young children, families, and educators in our community.