Students benefit from discovering stories, characters, and creators that reflect their own life experiences and cultures –and that can help nurture a lifelong love of learning. But inequalities in our educational system, and in the publishing industry, prevent too many from seeing themselves as readers and writers. When school buildings closed in March, AOB began serving its community with high-interest, age-appropriate books (80,000 have been distributed since 2010) whose delivery could be timed to coincide with meal or instructional packet pickups. While its traditional, in-school author and illustrator events could no longer be held, AOB began offering virtual visits to online classrooms – because students need to see award-winning authors and illustrators with whom they can connect as role models. A flexible, dynamic programming structure that can be easily adapted makes AOB ready for anything as the new school year unfolds.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 4

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Fairfax; VA-City of Falls Church

Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Population(s) Served: Individuals with Disabilities; Individuals who identify as LGBTQ; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Veterans/Military Families; Immigrants/Refugees

Schools They Work In: We are in over 100 public and public charter schools in the DC metro area.

  • Number of children's books donated annually:   11,500+
  • Number of children we prepare for success in school annually:   9,500
  • Number of events we offer by award winning children's authors and illustrators in low income schools each year:   172
  • Number of books we donate each school year to low income school libraries and classrooms:   Over 1,200
  • Number of local schools (Head Start through 12th grade), after school programs, and youth programs in which we host author events:   135

Awards & Recognition

Read Africa Award: Founder Dara La Porte October 24, 2015

Volunteer of the Year Award at Martha's Table 2105-16: Janet Zwick, Education Director AOB


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Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for An Open Book Foundation is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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