We needed $160,910 in 2019 to serve every Title 1 elementary school in Duval County that feeds into Ribault, Raines, and Jackson High Schools as well as those Title 1 schools and community centers we have served in 2018. That's 16,091 students to be served this year, more than doubling our impact over last year! AND WE DID IT! All thanks to you!

Dear Friends,


We served the largest number yet of highest needs students in our community each with the choice of three FREE brand-new books. We equipped kids with book ownership just before school let out for summer break.  With new books in hand, low income students had a cultural experience over the summer and many developed a love for reading, setting them up for success in years to come. READERS are LEADERS!

Local philanthropist and READ USA supporter and friend,

Delores Barr Weaver, offered a challenge grant of $35,000 for READ USA

to finish out the funding needs for our 2019 FREE Scholastic Book Fairs to serve over 16,000 students in high poverty neighborhood Title 1 schools. With her challenge, she asked for other supporters to match her grant by double, or $70,000.  100% of your donations went toward the books because the beautiful, colorful book fairs with thousands of popular and award-winning titles are 100% volunteer run.

Understanding The Need

  • 61% of low income homes have zero (0) books in them.  - U.S. Department of Education

  • 2/3 of 4th graders that struggle to read will end up in jail or on welfare - Write Express Corporation June 2015

  • 1 in 4 children live below the poverty line in Duval County, higher than the state or national rates - 2016 U.S. Census Data

  • Over 50% of Duval public school students are living in poverty

  • Public education is underfunded and has not increased In funding for over a decade: Combined state and local funding per student is below 2008 levels in most states, with Florida having the 3rd highest funding cuts of all. - Center on Budget and Policy Priorities January 2016

  • 75% of state prison inmates can be classified as low literate. — Rand Report: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Correctional Education

  • Low literacy is said to be connected to over $230 billion a year in health care costs because almost half of Americans cannot read well enough to comprehend health information, incurring higher costs. — American Journal of Public Health

  • 68% of those arrested in the U.S. are illiterate - Washington Literacy Council

READUSA GWC 2011-2015.jpeg

“illiteracy….a problem that can be solved with books and teachers”- Truman Center

With your help, we are changing this story by turning the page on poverty. We are removing significant barriers that stand in the way for kids in low-income communities, including scarce books and learning materials and a lack of diversity in the books that do reach them.

The Impact

READ USA transforms the lives of children in need by making brand new, high quality books available for free that students choose for book ownership and to develop a love for reading.

READ USA also provides summer tutoring jobs to struggling teens in high poverty neighborhoods with training and professional tutoring and teaching support to raise the reading gains for both the teen tutors and the younger students they’ll lead. 


Your Impact

Thanks to your donations and partnership, we were able to reach many children in need and the educators who serve them.

READ USA has distributed more than 50,000 books to over 15,000 students in high need Title 1 schools and community centers in the highest poverty neighborhoods of Duval County, Florida as well as provided funding for new books for classroom libraries in those schools.  Our goal is to serve all kids in need in this community and expand further until the need no longer exists. 

Together, we can turn the page on poverty by setting the next generation up for success!


With warmest gratitude,

Ellen Wiss

President and Co-Founder