Reading Is Fundamental


We empower children to read, learn and grow

Nearly 50 years ago, a former school teacher named Margaret McNamara told children she tutored they could each choose one of several new books to keep as their very own. On November 3, 1966, Ms. McNamara along with a group of D.C.-based school teachers and volunteers officially launched Reading Is Fundamental.

It’s not just the books we’ve distributed that make an impact. Our evidence-based program, Read for Success, helps children improve reading proficiency and combat summer learning loss – a contributing factor to the achievement gap. 


We envision a literate America in which all children have access to books and the opportunity to achieve their full potential through the life-changing power of reading and learning.

Our mission is to transform lives through the power of books. By providing children with access to and choice of high-quality books, enriching literacy resources and motivational activities, we empower young minds to embrace the world of reading and learning. 

We need your help

Books and learning resources can transform a child’s life. Thanks to the generous support of corporations, foundations, community organizations and thousands of Book Lovers like you, we are sparking such transformations every day. Your generosity allows us to fulfill our mission and put young people on the path of discovering the inspiring array of people, places and ideas that await them inside the world of books.