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Spring 2015
James Patterson Shares Our Mission to 
Get Kids Reading

Who sparked your love of reading?

Growing up, I was a good student but I wasn't as passionate about reading as I am now.  My mother was a teacher at our school and she really encouraged me.  She took my sister and me to the Newburgh town library every Saturday - that was a real treat.

What children's book was your favorite as a child? Why?


As a kid, Peter Pan was one of the only books that I truly enjoyed.  It's got pirates and mermaids - what's not to like?  When I was beginning to write Maximum Ride, my first series for kids, I would often think of Mr. Barrie's story.

Why did you cross over and begin writing young adult books?

When my son, Jack, was eight, he wasn't excited about reading. Neither were many of his friends at school. I was thinking, well wait a minute here - if the son of an author doesn't enjoy books, what does that tell us? So that summer, my wife and I told him that he would have to read every day. We went out with him, helped him to find books we thought he would like and wouldn't you know it, but by the end of the summer, Jack said, okay, I don't hate this. That experience was why I wrote my first series for young adults: Maximum Ride. Then came Daniel X, Witch & Wizard, Middle School, Confessions, Treasure Hunters, and now House of Robots.


Which one of your books are you most proud of writing? Why?


It's like asking me to pick a favorite child.  I say it often, but I really think that my kids' books are the best books that I've written.  I'm especially proud of the work that Middle School and I Funny have done to fulfill my mission of getting kids reading.


Your initiative 'James Patterson's $1.5 million Pledge to Libraries' is an incredibly generous commitment to school libraries.  What motivated you to start this initiative?


My passion right now is doing all that I can to get kids reading. Kids need to be connected with books that really turn them on to reading.  School libraries save lives. These donations help the libraries and they lift morale. I really want to shine a light on the important work that these librarians are doing in their schools. 

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Thank You to Our Digital Campaign Sponsors:

Read to a Child is running our second annual digital campaign - "Spark Something Meaningful: Help Kids in Need Love to Read!" Our goal is to raise $100,000 during the month of May which will provide 6,000 reading sessions to children in need! So far we have raised over $29,000; with your help we can achieve our goal!



Don't want to sign up? You can donate here:


You can also help us create awareness by passing it on!


Simply share your own short personal story about who sparked your love of reading, along with a 'favorite book selfie' and post to social media.  Be sure to challenge 3 friends to do the same by tagging them in your post along with this link ( and hashtag #readtoachild 


Visit for more information.

New Corporate Partners &  Financial Literacy Initiative


Since January, we have welcomed reading mentors from several new corporate partners including Citibank, Constant Contact and Skyword. There are now 650 children across 17 schools who benefit from the lunchtime reading program in greater Boston each week. 


A tremendous thank you to the 17 dedicated School Coordinators who show our mentors that they are appreciated and provide tips for maximizing their reading time. One Coordinator, Andy Costello at the Wilson School in Framingham, MA, hosted a successful after-work social for all of the volunteers in her program. It was a fun opportunity for readers to swap stories about memorable times in the program.


We are also excited to announce that Eaton Vance is supporting a new Financial Literacy initiative for five of our schools. Through children's literature, our students will be exposed to fundamental concepts about money and savings. The goal of the sponsorship is to lay the foundation for children to understand more about our economy, how to be responsible with money, and to introduce career options in banking and finance. 


3rd Annual Team Trivia Night was the Best Yet


The w inning team: Frackers, Hackers & Slackers (Sponsored by The Tarini Family)

Read to a Child hosted its annual Team Trivia Night on  Wednesday, April 8th  at the Greatest Bar in Boston. It was Read to a Child's most successful Trivia Night so far, raising over $16,000! 


Thank you to our generous sponsors of the event: Acadian Asset Management, BNY Mellon, Cabot Corporation, Charles River Associates, Eaton Vance, and the Tarini Family. We would also like to thank everyone who attended and took part in the Trivia fun! Congratulations to our winning team: Frackers, Hackers & Slackers (sponsored by The Tarini Family). 


Lunchtime Reading Comes to New Haven! 


Read to a Child is very excited to announce that the lunchtime reading program has launched this spring at Wexler-Grant School in New Haven. Third and fourth grade students read weekly with their volunteer mentors from CDM Smith and Arvinas. We look forward to continuing to read at Wexler-Grant for many years to come!


School Coordinator Spotlight


Sophie Webb is in her third year as the Read to a Child School Coordinator at Betances School in Hartford. She says:



"There are so many rewards that come along with my role as School Coordinator.  The smiles on the children's faces when they see me in the morning, they light up my day.  Their excitement about seeing their mentors and exploring a new book, getting to know the characters, pointing out the illustrations, and guessing what will happen once they turn the page; this is so heartwarming and truly an honor to be a part of.  I love the steady hum that fills the reading room while the group is reading and talking, children's giggles and expressions popping up as mentors put on different character voices while getting into the stories.  Watching the children grow and develop their love of reading, and being able to share in the joy that the mentors bring to their lives is amazing." - Sophie Webb, School Coordinator in Connecticut

Brooke Franklin; Volunteer Reading Mentor of the Year: Sheree Dorsey; Tanyeka Buchanan; and Trina Scott. Photo credit to Patrick Gloria, courtesy of DBusiness Magazine.

3rd Annual Detroit Event was a Huge Success

Read to a Child hosted its third annual fundraising event, "To Read, Perchance to Dream" on Thursday, March 12th at the Detroit Opera House. The event was a huge success and raised over $30,000 to impact participating underserved students in Detroit. The night kicked off with an amazing performance from Urban Stringz, honored our 2015 Mentor of the Year, Sheree Dorsey and ended with a great silent auction. 


We would like to thank the generous organizations and individuals who donated to the auction and raffle, as well as our sponsors of the event: Lakeside Properties, LLC, Bloomberg, RBS Citizens, James Group International, BET Networks, Flagstar Bank, Gas Station TV, Honigman, Townsend Search Group, Level One Bank, Aon, First Merit Bank, FTI Consulting, Plante & Moran and Jaffe Law.

Los Angeles


Law Rocks L.A.


On March 6th &13th Law Rock, Inc.,, hosted its fourth annual "Law Rocks Los Angeles" at the Whisky A Go Go to benefit local nonprofits. The event featured ten competing bands of talented lawyers-turned-rockstars to raise money for charity. The band "Jimmy's Brother", (comprised of legal professionals from Winston & Strawn) selected Read to a Child's Los Angeles program. They rocked the house with a spectacular performance and raised $2,000 for Read to a Child. Regional board chair Eva Davis and fifteen volunteers at Winston & Strawn also read in the lunchtime reading program at Leo Politi elementary school.


Corporate Partner Spotlight

Read to a Child was recently featured in an Ernst & Young LLP (EY) newsletter distributed to nearly 6,000 of its employees. The article focused on the five years of EY participation in the lunchtime reading program, which more than 45 EY professionals participate in each year, and how meaningful and rewarding their volunteers find the experience. Read to a Child is proud to have EY as a corporate sponsor and appreciate the leadership provided by Ernst & Young LLP partner Dave Cormack, who not only serves on our board, but has also been a reading mentor for five years.

South Florida 

Reading Pair Spotlight

Read to a Child is so appreciative of our volunteers who take time to read with an underserved child once a week. Two dedicated reading mentors in Miami are Rose Sanon and Marisela D'Windt from The Children's Trust. Here is what Rose and Marisela had to say about their experiences as part of the lunchtime reading prog ram:
Rose Sanon and Marisela D'Windt

"This program is the most gratifying experience we have had in our tenure with The Children's Trust. Read to a Child has provided us with a fresh and positive perspective in life, in being able to read to a child thirty minutes a week. This program is ultimately about helping and having an impact on the mentee's wellbeing. We are honored to have been a part of this wonderful program"  - Rose Sanon and Marisela D'Windt

Rose and Marisela's student partner says she really enjoys being with her mentors because it allows her to have a quieter and more peaceful lunch, as well as the chance to hear stories she likes. She has also greatly improved her effort in class and is a lot more interested in reading than ever before!  
Upcoming Events & Campaigns

Connecticut Fundraising Event - Summer 2015, date TBD

Miami Fundraising Event - Wednesday, September 9th

13th Annual Gala in Boston - Thursday, November 5th