“I like how you can go on adventures without even leaving your house. You can travel around the world and learn new things.” 


That is how a child who attended a Children’s Literacy Foundation Summer Readers event last summer described reading. To him, a book is full of adventures and new things to learn. And at the CLiF Summer Readers event, he took home two brand new books that he got to choose out of hundreds. He, along with 9,253 other children in Vermont and New Hampshire last summer, listened and laughed along to inspiring stories told by CLiF’s authors, illustrators, and storytellers, and then got to choose two books to keep.


CLiF Summer Readers 2017

At the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF), we know a book is more than a book. It’s an adventure for a child who, like many of the low-income, at-risk, and rural children we serve, may have few or no books at home. A book can be a discoveryan escape, a comfort, or a friend.

Books are memories. Some of my favorite memories of my parents are of reading with them as a child. My dad must have read Stuart Little to me a hundred times. My mom still claims she can recite every word to Goodnight Moon. 

Erika can’t decide between two favorites: “Stuart Little” by E.B. White and “The BFG” by Roald Dahl


Books are Inspiration. My co-worker Stephanie likes reading Andrea Beaty‘s Ada Twist, Scientist and Rosie Revere, Engineer with her daughter. The series promotes young girls being interested in the sciences.


Books are a passion. CLiF Founder and Executive Director Duncan McDougall says Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is still his favorite children’s book. And since he left his corporate marketing job to share his love of reading and writing with children, he’s given hundreds of presentations at CLiF literacy events over nearly twenty years, so he’s read a lot of children’s books.

Duncan with his childhood favorite, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl


Books Are Joy. Jana still loves the middle-grade classic Bridge to Terabithia by beloved author & CLiF Presenter Katherine Paterson.

Books are connections. For many of the incarcerated parents who participate in CLiF’s Children of Prison Inmates program, sending books CLiF donates and they choose for their children, and reading or talking to them about the stories, builds a powerful bond between them when they can’t be present in their child’s lives.

A note from an incarcerated parent who participates in CLiF’s Children of Prison Inmates program


The Children’s Literacy Foundation gives low-income, at-risk, and rural children in Vermont and New Hampshire more than books. Our presenters, literacy programs, and  family events inspire a lifelong love of reading and writing. They bring communities together through stories. They encourage curiosity and learning. Plus, they always come with a wide variety of brand new, high-quality books, so there’s something for everyone.

As we kick off this holiday season on what is now known as Giving Tuesday, if you are able to, please give a child a book by donating to the Children’s Literacy Foundation. Every $10 you donate gives a book to a child and helps us inspire their love of literacy.

Want to give your favorite book, or your child or grandchild’s favorite? Just let us know the title and author when you make your donation online or by mailing a check to CLiF, and we’ll do our best to track it down, pending cost and availability. Or you can mail a new children’s book to CLiF or shop local at any of the independent bookstores in VT and NH hosting book drives for CLiF this holiday season.

However you choose to share the love of literacy with a child, thank you!

-A note from a grateful young reader

The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to nurture a love of reading and writing among low­-income, at­-risk, and rural children up to age 12 throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Since 1998, CLiF has supported and inspired more than 225,000 young readers and writers through six literacy program grants and has given away almost $6 million in new, high­-quality children’s books.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to CLiF here or by mailing a check to 1536 Loomis Hill Road, Waterbury Center, VT 05677.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CLiF has served over 350,000 children since 1998.

Subscribe to our Blog