Kids need books. Access to books is the number one way to ensure kids develop strong literacy skills, which are crucial to their future success. Books help develop empathy, vocabulary, and comprehension. They also provide a positive escape for many children from the challenges in their lives. They can be a connection to a larger world, a teacher, and a companion. Books have never been more important than right now.

With remote learning and lack of access to many regular activities and learning experiences, it’s essential for all kids to have access to books at home. However, 61% of low-income families own few or no children’s books, and, when so many families are worrying about heating their homes and putting food on the table, new books are not in many families’ budgets.

That’s where CLiF comes in. Our mission is to inspire a love of reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural kids (ages 12 and under) throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. We do it by connecting kids to authors and storytellers, offering literacy support, and giving thousands of new books to low-income kids each year.

One of the ways we do this is by collecting new books donated from bookstores, social groups like Rotary clubs, and individuals. Recently, one child collected 75 new books from classmates for less-fortunate kids. Over the holiday season, many NH and VT bookstores are gathering new children’s books from generous donors.

You can purchase a book (in some cases, at a discount) either in-person or online at the following bookstores and your gift will go directly to a child in need:

Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, VT (15% off)
Bridgeside Books, Waterbury, VT (20% off)
Ebenezer Books, Johnson, VT
Flying Pig Bookstore, Shelburne, VT
Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NH
Morgan Hill Books, New London, NH
Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT
Phoenix Books, Burlington, Essex & Rutland, VT (20% off)
Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH
Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, VT

There’s still time to buy a book for a low-income child this holiday season. Thank you to these independent bookstores for helping us put books in kids’ hands, and to all the generous shoppers who give a book to a child who needs it most. Happy Holidays!

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