Read One. Give One. is a nonprofit organization (pending 510c3) that provides new books to children living at or below the poverty line in Georgia. We also provide literature to parents that stresses the importance of reading aloud to young children on a daily basis.
Read One. Give One. was founded in Conyers, Georgia in June, 2017 by Patrick Best. Mr. Best is a writer, successful entrepreneur, and veteran (U.S. Navy) who currently serves as the Vice President of Marketing and Sales Operations for Cumulus Media, the second largest radio company in the United States. Mr. Best has been a volunteer reader at elementary schools in his hometown for more than 20 years. He began volunteering when his children were in elementary school, but he continued to read at schools around Rockdale County after they had moved on to high school and college. One of the things that Mr. Best consistently heard from teachers in the schools where he volunteered was that most of the children that were struggling to keep up were not being read to at home. He was also told that many of these same students didn’t have books of their own to read at home. This gave him the idea for ROGO. The memories of the smiles and laughter of the children he’d read to all those years gave him the motivation to take action.
How We Give
Our concept is simple: A Read One. Give One. volunteer reads a book to children in elementary school (Pre-K through Third Grade)… then gives a new copy of that book to each student in the class to take home.
We want each reading and donation session to be a happy and memorable event for the children, so our volunteer waits until after he or she has finished reading to give the books to the students. We want them to be excited about the experience, and we want them to carry that enthusiasm home with them. A single information sheet is included with each book. No judgment. No lectures. Just encouraging words about the importance of reading at home.
We buy our books through bulk bookstore sites and direct from publishers. Our goal is to spend no more than $4 per new book because we want to serve as many children and communities as possible. We use the money that’s donated to the organization to purchase books, for printing costs of our educational materials, for travel expenses related to the delivery of the books, and for our minimal web site, legal and administrative costs. We have no employees, so our costs are minimal.
We only serve elementary schools in Georgia in which at least 75% of the student body is receiving free or reduced lunches. This helps us ensure that the lion’s share of our books are going home with children living at or below the poverty line. We believe in the power of education, and we are convinced that it is possible to change our world one book at a time. We know firsthand how impactful reading can be on a young life, and we believe every parent – no matter their education or income level – wants the best for their children. We’re here to offer encouraging words and a helping hand.