One Million Gently-used Kid Books Project

Since 2010, the Behavioral Health Team at the St. Clair County Head Start program has been collecting donations of gently-used book for children (ages 5 years-old and younger). Recently, we’ve had enough to give all 1500 children in the program one book, but we’d like to give them a lot more each year. We’ve set a goal of raising one million books and giving them all to children in local Head Start programs and other agencies that serve children. If you’d like to donate gently-used books for infants, toddlers, or preschoolers, you can mail them to:

OMG Kid Books Project

c/o Stephen Hupp

Alumni Hall, Box 1121

Edwardsville, IL 62026-1121

Along with the books, we send the following note home to parents:

Your child chose this gift from several options, and we hope you can enjoy it together!



Read every day with your child (starting from birth)

(this is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics)

Read as part of the bedtime routine

(this is a great way to help make sure that daily reading happens)

Ask questions about letters and words while reading

(this increases how quickly children learn to read1)


  • “Can you show me where to start reading on this page?”
  • “What do you think the animal is saying here?”
  • “What letter is this?”
  • “Can you find a really long word on this page?”
1.Source: Justice et al. (2009). Accelerating preschoolers’ early literacy development through classroom-based teacher-child storybook reading and explicit print referencing. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 40, 67-85.



Read Indeed (nonprofit literacy organization)

We recently learned of a teenager that started a similar project before us. Her nonprofit organization has already collected more than a million books! While our two projects are not connected to each other, we thought it was only fair to point out this young trailblazer. Here’s a little information from her organization’s website: “Read Indeed’s mission is to promote literacy by collecting and gifting books to at-risk children. Maria began Read Indeed when she was 8 years old and her original goal was to collect and distribute 1 million books to kids in need by the time she’s 18. She accomplished this goal before the age of 13! Now she wants to work toward 2 million books while distributing books to all 50 states in the U.S. and every country in the world. Having donated more than $4 million in books, Maria has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.” If you’d like to help Maria reach her goal of 2 million books, you can learn more at this website:

Mail your gently used books here:

OMG Kid Books Project
c/o Stephen Hupp
Alumni Hall, Box 1121
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1121