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The Children’s Book Bank

Mission & Vision

Children’s Book Bank is a five-year-old organization run by the founder Danielle (Dani) Swope.  She started the organization to close the “book gap” that exists between low-income neighborhoods and middle and high-income neighborhoods.  The Children’s Book Bank gathers new and gently used books from the community and with volunteer help it cleans, sorts, and distributes books to kids in need.  CBB distributes books for the home environment through existing programs that serve pre-school age children in low-income communities and communities of color.  Currently, books are reaching children age 0-5 through Head Start programs, Portland Public Schools pre-K programs, and the Reach out and Read program run out of the Children’s Community Clinic.  CBB currently serves 3,000 to 5,000 pre-school kids each year and is looking to at least double that number in the next 3-5 years.

Executive Director: Dani Swope

Initial Investment Date: March 2014

Why Children’s Book Bank?

CBB provides a critical resource in supporting the SVP goal of ensuring more children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.  Numerous studies show that children who have access to print materials (books) at home are better prepared and have more positive behavioral, educational, and psychological outcomes.[1]  And the development of early literacy skills through early experiences with books and stories is directly linked to a child’s success in learning to read.[2]

The Children’s Book Bank is in the right stage of growth such that SVP could have a measureable and significant impact on CBB’s effectiveness, operating efficiencies and sustainability, through funding and partner engagement. CBB has strong, collaborative leadership committed to making measurable impact on early childhood literacy at scale. The partnership with CBB provides ample opportunities for SVP Partners to engage and help with capacity building goals.

Lead Partners: Kris Irwin & Ron Eiseman

What capacity building will be accomplished through the SVP-Children’s Book Bank partnership? Or, what will next stage growth, after leveraging SVP’s resources to grow its operating capacity, look like for CBB?

SVP will help CBB build capacity in the following areas:

  • Board Development
  • Strategic and Operational Planning
  • Funding Growth, Diversification & Sustainability
  • Outcomes Measurement and Evaluation Planning
  • Human resources and infrastructure

How will this impact young children? CBB will be positioned to double the children age birth to five (~8,000) receiving books by 2018.