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Kids’ Book Bank

Kids’ Book Bank fosters improved literacy and a love of reading by providing free books to children in need through collaboration with community partners. Their goal is to break the poverty cycle by exposing low-income children to language and reading from birth – fostering literacy skills, opening their minds to the world beyond their neighborhood and fueling their imaginations.

Executive Director: Thea DeRosa Cerra
(Former: Judy Payne)
SVP Lead Partner: Karen Kidwell
(Former: Diane Farr, Marcia Levine, & Tara Schmitt)
Engagement Began: June 2018
(Time-Only: June 2017–February 2018)

Total SVP Impact as of 12/31/2020

  Unrestricted Grants      $ 45,000  
  Volunteer Hours      414  

Capacity Building Areas:

  • Board Development
  • Executive Coaching
  • Fundraising
  • Operations
  • Real-Time Strategic Planning
  • Replicability
  • Succession Planning

Six SVP Investees Share What’s Exciting in 2021

Six current and emeritus SVP Investees are brimming with enthusiasm for 2021—including new programs, new partnerships, and even new headquarters! This year holds a lot in store for Family Connections, Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank, Kinnect, Progressive Arts Alliance, University Settlement, and Youth Opportunities Unlimited. But we won’t steal their thunder. Read what they have to say! Read More »

Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank: Volumes of Appreciation for Those Who Share Their Time

As an organization, it takes a lot of volunteers to fulfill Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank’s mission of fostering improved literacy and a love of reading by providing free books to children in need. In fact, 6,000 people have volunteered with the Kids’ Book Bank (KBB) in just over three years. These volunteers played a crucial role as KBB partnered with more than 900 organizations who helped distribute two million books to children in low-income families throughout Northeast Ohio. Read More »

When Happily Ever After Comes to Town: Kids’ Book Bank Saves Books and Enriches Lives

Once upon a time (just two years ago), hundreds of thousands of children’s books were being shredded and disposed of rather than reaching the hands of children in need. Then a hero came to town and saved those books, and the love of reading spread ever more widely in the land of CLE. Kids’ Book Bank (KBB) and its more than 4,000 volunteers are the heroes of this story, having dispersed more than one million books to an estimated 95,000 children and families in the two years following their 2016 inception! Read More »

Breaking the “Same-old Solution” Mold when Brainstorming: The SVP Advisory Team Model

At first blush, the process of collaborative brainstorming seems simple enough for a nonprofit to organize. Put a bunch of people in a room, give them a problem to solve, and have everyone throw out ideas like spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. However, this system can result in the same people with the same experiences trying to solve the same problems and coming up with the same solutions. Avoiding this “group think” is one reason Social Venture Partners (SVP) Advisory Team (A-Team) sessions are unique and especially impactful approach to collaborative solution finding. Read More »

Improving Literacy One Story at a Time: The Tale of SVP Investee Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank

Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank (CKBB) believes that books change lives. Its goal is to help break illiteracy’s role in the poverty cycle by exposing low-income children to language and reading from birth. Its mission is to foster improved literacy and a love of reading by providing free books to children in need. Read More »