Bringing diverse books into classrooms

Our Kids Read is a 501c3 non-profit. We donate hundreds of diverse books per month to schools across the United States. Our goal is to put millions of diverse books in front of our children in an effort to create a future generation comfortable with and accepting of diversity in all of its forms.

our mission


Expanding perspectives

Our Kids Read book donations feature stories from a variety of cultures: Native-American/Indigenous, African-American, LatinX, Southeast Asian and more. Our hope is that through exposure to various cultures, the children we serve will grow up to be open-minded and tolerant adults.

Developing self-esteem

Books have, at times, been described as a window into a new world or as a mirror of ourselves. Our Kids Read donates book that serve in both capacities: for children not represented by the books that we donate, the books serve as a window into a different world. For people of color, our books serve as a mirror and affirmation of identity and self.


Fostering a sense of belonging

Our Kids Read donations foster a sense of belonging by showing children that people that look like them have done (and continue) to do amazing things. Feeling like you are part of a powerful positive global community is a natural offshoot of representation. Seeing onself (or images similar to oneself) represented in a positive way in books in a universal conscious and subconscious affirmation.

our approach

Working with Schools

Our Kids Read reaches out every week to schools across the country to offer a donation of diverse books. We offer the schools hundreds of diverse books to choose from, for all reading levels (pre-K through 12th grade). Within eight to twelve weeks the school takes delivery of the books they selected(typically 50 to 100 books at at time with an option to receive an annual donation).

Reaching Communities

The communities we work in are excited to give back to our organization. We encourage communities to take responsibility for ensuring that diversity is an integral part of the curriclulum of schools in their area. Our fund-raisers are county and school-specific: donors know that their contributions are going back into their own neighborhoods.

Maximizing Donations

Our Kids Read is a 100% volunteer organization. That means we can ensure that 91 cents out of every dollar we receive goes directly to the book donation and literacy programs we support. We keep our overhead low to maximize our donor's impact.


Schools in Our Kids
Read Network

Our Kids Read provides our kids both with books to take home with them, which is crucial in our school as we work with primarily low-income students, largely children of color. Both the books that Our Kids Read donated to our school library and the take home books are of immeasurable value to the children's growth and development.

- Educator, Our Kids Read Partner School

Recent Donations

42 books

August 17, 2021

Gornam Crossing Elementary
Laurel, MMD

46 books

Octover 20, 2021

Holy Innocents Episcopal School
Atlanta, GA

40 books

November 2, 2021

For Love Of Children Book Fair
Washington, D.C


of proceeds go
directly to schools

Our Kids Read provides our kids both with books to take home with them, which is crucial in our school as we work with primarily low-income students, largely children of color. Both the books that Our Kids Read donated to our school library and the take home books are of immeasurable value to the children's growth and development.

- Educator, Our Kids Read Partner School

our team


Jahmal Lake
Executive Director, Board member


Denise Doig
Executive Board member


Myrleen Springer
Executive Board member


Martha Pitts
Executive Board member


He's Got the Whole World in His Hands

by Kadir Nelson

What began as a spirtual has developed into one of Amerca's best-known songs, and now for the first time it appears as a picture book, masterfully created by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Kadir has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation, one that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature.

Inspired by the song's simple message, kadir sought to capture the joy of living in and engaging with the world. Most importantly, he wished to portray the world as a child might see it-vast and beautiful.


I am Every Good Thing

by Derrick Barnes

An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. A perfect gift for any special occasion!

I am a nonstop ball of energy. Powerful and full of light. I am a go-getter. A difference maker. A leader.

The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He's got big plans, and no doubt he'll see them through--as he's creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he's afraid, because he's so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you--and shows you--who they are. There are superheroes in our midst!


We are the Water Protectors

by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade

Winner of the 2021 Caldecott Medal #1 New York Times Bestseller

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption―a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.

Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all . . .

When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth And poison her people’s water, one young water protector Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.


The Snowy Day

by Ezra Jack Keats

The magic and wonder of winter’s first snowfall is perfectly captured in Ezra Jack Keat’s Caldecott Medal-winning picture book. This celebrated classic has been shared by generations of readers and listeners, a must-have for every child’s bookshelf.

New York Public Library's #1 book on the list of “Top Check Outs of All Time”

In 1962, a little boy named Peter put on his snowsuit and stepped out of his house and into the hearts of millions of readers. Universal in its appeal, this story beautifully depicts a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever. The quiet fun and sweetness of Peter’s small adventures in the deep, deep snow is perfect for reading together on a cozy winter day.

Ezra Jack Keats was also the creator of such classics as Goggles, A Letter to Amy, Pet Show!, Peter’s Chair, and A Whistle for Willie.


Eyes that Kiss in the Corners

by Joanna Ho

A New York Times Bestseller and #1 Indie Bestseller

This lyrical, stunning picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate your Asian-shaped eyes, in the spirit of Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, and is a celebration of diversity.

A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.

Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages.


Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns

by Hena Khan

With breathtaking illustrations and informative text, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns magnificently captures the world of Islam, celebrating its beauty and traditions for even the youngest readers. Sure to inspire questions and observations about world religions and cultures, this entrancing volume is equally at home in the classroom as it is being read to a child on a parent's lap.



by Lupita Nyongo

A New York Times bestseller!

Featured in its own episode in the Netflix original show Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices! Recipient of a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award Recipient of an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children’s Literary Work

From Academy Award–winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.


Going Home, Coming Home

by Truong Tran

Bilingual English/Vietnamese. This summer, Ami Chi is taking a trip to far off Vietnam, where the streets are crowded with zipping scooters and fruit is shaped like dragons and stars.

This summer, Ami Chi is taking a trip to far off Vietnam, where the streets are crowded with zipping scooters and fruit is shaped like dragons and stars. To her parents, Vietnam is still home-a home they haven't seen since they left during the war. But all this talk of going back home leaves Ami Chi confused. How can you go back home to a place you've never been?

Ami Chi finds her answer in the rolling green rice paddies that blanket the countryside, in the bustling Cho Lon market, and in the quiet rooms of her grandmother's house. Vietnam may be nothing like America, but some things-like the help of a new friend-make this strange place feel familiar. Before long, Ami Chi finds that sometimes, you can travel farther than you ever thought possible and still find yourself at home.

Poet Truong Tran uses delicate, lyrical prose to craft this tender story of leaving and finding places that make up who we are. Ann Phong's lush paintings complete this unforgettable journey with vibrant color and loving detail.


Deep in the Sahara

by Kelly Cunnane and Hoda Hadadi

"Poetic language, attractive illustrations and a positive message about Islam, without any didacticism: a wonderful combination," declares Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.

Lalla lives in the Muslim country of Mauritania, and more than anything, she wants to wear a malafa, the colorful cloth Mauritanian women, like her mama and big sister, wear to cover their heads and clothes in public. But it is not until Lalla realizes that a malafa is not just worn to show a woman's beauty and mystery or to honor tradition—a malafa for faith—that Lalla's mother agrees to slip a long cloth as blue as the ink in the Koran over Lalla's head, under her arm, and round and round her body. Then together, they pray.