45 Bristol Street, New Haven, CT 06511 information@newhavenreads.org 203-752-1923


Our Mission

New Haven Reads, founded to “share the joy and power of reading,” increases the literacy skills of children to empower their academic success by providing individually tailored one-on-one after-school tutoring, educational family support, and a community book bank, all at no cost to participants.

Our Vision

Working in partnership with families and the community, New Haven Reads envisions a Greater New Haven in which every child has the opportunity to master reading and increase the odds of becoming a successful adult. Our volunteer-based one-on-one tutoring programs, our Book Bank, and our family support initiatives will serve as a national model for other communities.

Our Impact

Since New Haven Reads was founded in 2001, we have supported more than 3,500 students and distributed over 1.7 million books back into the community, thanks to the help of over 2,900 volunteers.

Today, the one-on-one tutoring program serves over 500 children every week at four New Haven locations, our Book Bank distributes approximately 120,000 free books annually, and our Pre-K/Kindergarten program serves 55 children every week. With our dedicated, professional staff and the commitment of over 400 volunteers, our free literacy programs support families in need and create skilled and confident readers.

New Haven Reads transforms the lives of children, their families, and the communities they live in due to the incredible power of literacy.

To learn more about our impact, please click here.

Our Story

New Haven Reads began in 2001 when our founder, Christine Alexander (pictured at right), ran a yearlong citywide literacy initiative. At the end of the year, Chris opened the first community Book Bank on Park Street, and a year later, when a homeschooling mother asked for extra help teaching her children to read, the one-on-one tutoring program was born.

Today, the Book Bank gives out over 115,000 books each year, and the tutoring program reaches almost 600 students annually thanks to the dedicated efforts of over 400 community volunteers.

2001: Chris Alexander starts the Book Bank on Park Street

2002: The Book Bank moves to Park Street and the tutoring program begins

2005: New Haven Reads is incorporated as a 501©3

2006: New Haven Reads opens at Bristol Street

2008: Kindergarten program begins

2009: Dixwell and Science Park tutoring locations open

2011: Founder Christine Alexander passes away

2012: New Haven Reads hosts the first annual Spelling Bee fundraiser

2016: Willow Street tutoring location opens

2018: Corner of Bristol & Ashmun Streets in New Haven renamed in honor of Christine Alexander