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Who We Are

Children’s Literacy Network is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) grassroots organization founded in 1991 by a group of educators dedicated to promoting the benefits of literacy.

We are a volunteer-based nonprofit agency in Washtenaw County dedicated to closing the book and reading achievement gap to keep low-income students from falling further behind their more affluent peers. CLN accomplishes this through innovative programming at the early childhood and school-age levels. We are proud to be an active participant in the Cradle to Career Initiative which is focused on meeting children’s needs throughout their educational and developmental stages. CLN is strongly aligned with this effort through every program we offer: CLN takes an active role in making sure children are ready to succeed in kindergarten; in ensuring all children will read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade; and in supporting the overall goal, that all youth will graduate high school.


Our Definition of Reading

Reading is more than calling out words on a page. We emphasize looking at pictures, talking about the pictures and cuddling while doing so. We encourage turning off the television and having a quiet, attentive verbal time with children. We value reading multicultural books where children can see themselves depicted in the books. We underscore how important the combination of language stimulation and social/emotional interaction is to a child’s literacy development and overall well-being.

Core Beliefs

We believe

  • being able to read is the foundation of success in school and to a great extent in life.
  • in promoting the learning and loving of reading at all age groups.
  • it is never too early to start reading to children. We encourage reading to newborns.
  • it is never too late to develop a love of reading.
  • in providing multicultural books with the belief that children need to see themselves depicted in the books they read.
  • reading to a child includes an important emotional bonding experience.
  • in focusing on low-income families since they often do not have the means to have many books in their homes.
  • in striving to include an educational element in all of our programs rather than simply giving books away.
  • our mission is best served through community partnerships and collaborations.

Points of Pride

  • We served approximately 5,000 children in the past year.
  • More than 21,000 books were given to children in under-resourced families, children with a parent incarcerated in Washtenaw County, and children of teenage parents.
  • 85 volunteers carried out our programs, staffed events, provided office support, and served on our Board.
  • Volunteers contributed more than 2,500 hours.
  • 36 partner organizations distributed our books to children in Washtenaw County this year.
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