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

Our Impact

Program Overview

Since New Haven Reads was founded in 2001, we have supported more than 7,000 students and distributed over 2.5 million books back into the community, thanks to the help of over 6,000 volunteers.

Every week, our one-on-one tutoring and Pre-K/Kindergarten programs respectively serve over 350 children at three New Haven locations. Our Book Bank also distributes approximately 75,000 free books annually. With our dedicated, professional staff and the commitment of over 330 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.

The Need

The ability to read transforms a child’s life by giving them the skills to succeed in school and work. Having books at home drastically increases student academic success, regardless of income or education level. However, in the Greater New Haven community more than two thirds of students are not reading at grade level, and low income families are more likely to live in “book deserts.” As an organization, we seek to help create a community of confident readers through early, focused intervention and increasing access to books.

Our Students

Our free programs are open to all, regardless of income level, and the only prerequisite to enrollment is that a student must be struggling with reading. Our students come from communities across the Greater New Haven area. Almost three quarters come from New Haven itself, and nearly 80% come from low income families.



Last year, 91% of our students said that New Haven Reads makes them better readers. Meet some of our students here.


To ensure the efficacy of our programs and track student progress, we test some of our students with the Consortium on Reading Excellence (CORE) Test twice a year. 2020-2021 CORE Test Highlights
  • 100% of students tested improved their literacy scores

Book Bank Numbers

In 2022-2023 the Book Bank:
  • hosted 86 field trips where classes visited our Book Bank and received five books to take home and listened to stories from our volunteers,
  • prepared 352 book orders for 103 organizations and schools in Connecticut,
  • gave 31 teachers 3,677 books for their classrooms and students during the bi-annual Teacher Open House events,
  • Volunteers continue to fill local “book boxes” with thousands of NHR books to build home libraries