Books for kids

The Mission

The mission of the Books for Kids Foundation is to promote literacy among all children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children.

Books for Kids creates libraries, donates books, and partners with literacy programs to develop the critical early foundation and skills which young children need to be successful in life.

Studies show that emergent literacy in preschoolers must be supported by a print-rich environment. Books for Kids ensures that Department of Education-recommended books are available wherever children spend their day, by donating books and establishing libraries in those facilities. Books for Kids also strives to build book collections at home for each child to read and share with their family.

MBF is proud to have supported the building or complete renovation of 16 lending libraries in early childhood centers, including: 8 in New York City, 3 in Los Angeles, 3 in Las Vegas and 2 in Boston! Our support also pays for a literacy program in each library and books for each child to start building a home library.

For more information visit Books for Kids


  • November 2017

    MBF Supports Books for Kids

    MBF is proud to have supported the building or complete renovation of 16 lending libraries in early childhood centers, including: 8 in New York City, 3 in Los Angeles, 3 in Las Vegas and 2 in Boston! Our support also pays for a literacy program in each library and books for each child to start building a home library.

  • November 2014

    MBF has provided another grant to Books for Kids, allowing them to open a second new library in Las Vegas in August 2015! The Foundation has been working with Books for Kids since 2010 on the exciting venture to help promote literacy and encourage kids to foster a passion for books. Just like the first library, this new one is located in a community daycare center, with a beautiful design and build-out. MBF also funded a new Birthday Book Program for the Las Vegas libraries, which gifts books to each child on his or her birthday, helping them build their own at-home libraries. In addition, a special copy of that book will go into the MBF Library at that child’s day care center – a win win for everyone!

  • February 2014

    MBF is delighted to announce its most recent grant to Books for Kids. The new grant will enable Books for kids to renovate five libraries that are participants in the new literacy program Books for Kids is developing and implementing with funding from the US Department of Education.  Books for Kids was able to accept the grant from the US DOE because of the support of MBF.

  • March 2013

    The Mario Batali Foundation made a grant to Books For Kids to support the implementation of a new literacy program in five libraries in Brooklyn, NY.  Books For Kids’ goal is to pilot this new literacy program in these five locations and then to expand it to other Books for Kids libraries!

  • July 2012

    Busy Building Libraries

    The Mario Batali Foundation proudly announced its commitment to fund its second AND third MBF libraries. The second MBF library, located at Hudson Guild Community Center, opened on July 10th just in time for summer camp sessions. The third MBF sponsored Books For Kids library is located in the Goddard Riverside Day Care Center on West 91st Street in Manhattan.

  • March 2012

    Story Time Updates

    The Mario Batali Foundation and its many volunteers have been having a terrific time with the quarterly readings at our Dewitt Library. In December we held a Holiday Reading where we read If You Take a Mouse to the Movies each child received a copy of the book to take home AND Santa showed up and gave each child an additional wrapped present which was…you guessed it…another new book for their home collection.

    In March we were back again this time reading the classic…Goodnight Moon. Every child received a copy for their home collection.

    We are very proud to announce that to date the Mario Batali Foundation has put seven books into the homes of each child at Dewitt Reformed Church Head Start program. How cool is that?

  • July 2011

    MBF Library Birthday Book Club Announced

    MBF in collaboration with Books For Kids has created the Birthday Book Club for its Dewitt Reformed Church Head Start Center Library in Lower Manhattan. The concept was so well received that BFKs is planning on rolling out the Birthday Book Club program to other BFK libraries around the country!

    The MBF Birthday Book Club celebrates the birthday of each at-risk child who attends the Dewitt Reformed Church Head Start Center and also helps to grow the existing collection of books in the library. The Club works by giving each child a brand new beautiful classic children’s hard cover book to take home as well as dedicating a copy of that same book in that child’s name to the library on his or her birthday. The Birthday Book Club allows MBF and BFK to not only insure that each child gets to add a book to their usually sparse home collection, but also to add a new library quality book to the Center’s library.

  • May 2011

    MBF Library Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

    View Ribbon Cutting Video

    A special thank you MBF received from a Dewitt Reformed Church parent: “I live in Queens NY and this email is regarding the beautiful Library that Mr. Mario Batali donate today in Dewitt Head Start. I just want to say thank you and is really nice from him. I personally didn’t know about the foundation but I think is something very positive…My son was so happy today and that’s one more reason to go to school.”

  • December 2010

    MBF announces Books For Kids grant to create and furnish a MBF/BFK library within an existing children’s center (site to be announced). This will enable children who may not have access to a public library to discover the world of books. In addition to being a magical place where the children can learn, explore and dream, the library will house a beautiful collection of brand new library bound books. The library will also have an actual lending program to familiarize children with standard practices.

    Each Books for Kids library is created with an age-appropriate collection which includes the core group of standard titles recommended by the Department of Education and early childhood literacy experts. Books are carefully selected to reflect the backgrounds and life experiences of the children in that community.