CLN at the Kerrytown Bookfest….

The annual Kerrytown Bookfest is a natural fit for Children’s Literacy Network, and we love visiting it each year! The description of their mission on their website says it all…

The Kerrytown Bookfest is an annual free event celebrating those who create books and those who read them. The primary goal is to highlight our area’s rich heritage in the book and printing arts while showcasing our local and regional individuals, businesses, and organizations.

How perfect is that? So we set up a table and distributed information about our cause. We signed up some volunteers and really … Continue Reading

Staying in Closer Touch: Literati Fundraiser!

Senghor's autobiography drew standing-room-only crowds

Senghor’s autobiography drew standing-room-only crowds

Shaka Senghor, author of Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison, spoke at the Ann Arbor bookstore Literati on Friday, August 26. Mr. Senghor pledged the proceeds of that night’s sales to Children’s Literacy Network, specifically to help fund our Staying in Closer Touch program. SICT connects volunteers with local inmates; the volunteers help inmates record the children’s book they select, and then the volunteer mails the cd of the story and the … Continue Reading

Rep. Debbie Dingell visits West Willow Neighborhood and CLN’s Summer Book Giveaway…

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell attended a picnic at a West Willow neighborhood and looked over some of the books with the children. The children were excited to pick out their books for the summer.


This year, Children’s Literacy Network distributed over 1,000 books at Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor elementary schools and community locations.Our goal at CLN is to ensure that every child has a good book … Continue Reading

Keeping new readers reading! our summer book giveaway!


The end of the school year was a busy couple of weeks, as we gave away over 1,000 books to Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti schools over three weeks, to 600 children! We visited Mitchell Elementary, Northside/STEAM Elementary, Bryant Community Center, Estabrook Elementary, Adams Elementary, and at a West Willow neighborhood picnic.

At the schools, teachers sent down students with their reading level and we helped students select books that they could take home and read over the summer. The books were grouped by grade level and students came … Continue Reading

The Bookmobile is coming again this summer!

BookmobileThe Bookmobile will be more busy than ever this summer!  We will be going back to the Mitchell Elementary School Summer Bridge Program to let kids getting extra help during summer school pick out a new book to take home every week.  We will also be stopping every week at the Arbor Meadows and Hamilton Crossing neighborhoods to give the kids who live there more opportunities to enjoy reading books throughout the summer.  Stay tuned for more info, because we will definitely need lots of volunteers who can help us with … Continue Reading

AAP Recommends Reading from Birth

dr books

“A new AAP policy statement recommends that pediatric providers advise parents of young children that reading aloud and talking about pictures and words in age-appropriate books can strengthen language skills, literacy development and parent-child relationships.” – AAP News

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement this year recommending that pediatric providers advise parents to read age-appropriate books aloud to their young children starting from birth. This is something we have been promoting from the very beginning of our organization 23 years ago and are excited to see emphasized every … Continue Reading

Bringing the Bookmobile to Mitchell School

photo 5We are excited to report that our first summer with our new Bookmobile has been a welcomed success! We took it to Mitchell Elementary School for four weeks in July and August to let kids in the Mitchell summer bridge program and the Scarlett ESL program select books of their choice to read and exchange for new books each week. All of the kids were excited to be able to choose a book from a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction that was suitable for their current reading levels. … Continue Reading

Generous Kiwanis Grant

We are so vanthankful to the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor Foundation, for awarding us and the Family Learning Institute a generous grant for a vehicle that both of our organizations can use.  We will be using it as a “book mobile” to take books to neighborhoods where children have little access to reading materials over the summer. It will now be so much easier to take more books to more places, reaching even more kids with this fantastic gift. The vehicle itself is a Ford 2013 Transit … Continue Reading

March is National Reading Month – book drives help CLN’s mission

3March is National Reading month, and we’re glad that it draws attention to the importance of reading with and to children. Our supporters understand that not all children have access to books in the home. Several book drives by local organizations have contributed to the Children’s Literacy Network mission in the past few weeks in honor of National Reading Month. One of those book donation events was spearheaded by the First United Methodist Church nursery cooperative preschool. FUMC preschool students made a trip to Literati bookstore in downtown Ann … Continue Reading

Toyota Technical Center Grant to Children’s Litearcy Center Announced

Toyota Grant Helping Grassroots Nonprofit Buy Math
and Science Books for Under-resourced Children

Toyota Technical Center Grant to Children’s Literacy Center Announced

Children’s Literacy Network (CLN) is pleased to announce the receipt of a $2500 grant from the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor. The mission of CLN is, “To give all children in Washtenaw County an equal opportunity to develop a love of reading and books.” The Toyota grant will help to buy books for CLN’s Read to Kids program. Read to Kids  is a program … Continue Reading

Hold a Book Drive for CLN!

Over the holidays, Children’s Literacy Network was fortunate  to have multiple groups and organizations hold book drives for us. These groups and organizations include Literati Bookstore, Barnes & Noble Ann Arbor, Mari Pionk and her friends and family, Washtenaw Association of Retired School Personnel, and Alpha Delta Kappa. Each of these book drives brought in some BEAUTIFUL children’s books and the children who receive these books will surely love and adore them. We want to send a HUGE thank you to these organizations and the people who support Children’s Literacy Network through book drives – we are so very thankful … Continue Reading

CLN is the 2013 Winner of the Respect Challenge

Who would you like to thank for teaching you respect?

Thank you to our Staying in Closer Touch volunteer, Karen Smyte, who won the North Division of the Respect Challenge for CLN!  Check out her story below:

I wish I could thank a first-grade teacheKSWWpic1r, somewhere in Michigan. Detroit? Marquette? I don’t know her name, never will, but I thank her often. I volunteer at my state’s sole female prison, the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, record incarcerated mothers and grandmothers reading bedtime stories to the children and grandchildren they … Continue Reading

CLN Bulletin

Those of us at Children’s Literacy Network are hard at work during the months of October, November, and December. Volunteers and staff members are all busy preparing for the exciting things happening at CLN:

Fall/Winter 2013 Newsletter
Volunteer Usborne Book Party/Open House
Winter 2013 Holiday Greetings
Barnes & Noble Book Fair!! (Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 14!)
Literati Bookstore CLN Book Drive beginning mid-November through December

We have many wonderful things in the works and we are looking forward to sharing more information with all of our friends and supporters soon!Bulletin

Thank You Ann Arbor Give Camp!

Over the weekend of September 20th, 21st, and 22nd, Children’s Literacy Network was fortunate enough to participate in the Ann Arbor Give Camp. Ann Arbor Give Camp is a weekend-long event where local technology experts, business professionals, and charity personnel come together to ease the burden of area non-profits through technology.

For our project, Ann Arbor Give Camp assisted CLN with our new donor database, GiftWorks. We have been having difficulty transferring all of the information from our old database over to GiftWorks and the volunteers at Ann Arbor Give Camp were extremely helpful! All of the information was transferred over … Continue Reading

Some Words from Jenni and Joan

Joan Weisman, co-founder, and husband, Arthur Parris, Treasurer for the first 12 years

Joan Weisman, co-founder, and husband, Arthur Parris, Treasurer for the first 12 years

Dear friends of Joan Weisman and the Children’s Literacy Network,

It is with great sadness that I inform you of Joan’s passing on March 30, 2013.

In March,1991, Joan first had the vision that would change the future of children’s literacy in low-income families in Washtenaw County. She was the first Head Start teacher in Detroit and had worked many years seeing four-year olds come to … Continue Reading

Mothers & Babies Expands Again

Shortly after our previous newsletter went to print, our Mothers and Babies program expanded again. We now give 40 free books and information packets to under-resourced mothers with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti thanks to the Karla Fund.

The Karla Fund was named for educator Karla Stoeffler Hamilton, who died in 1971 at the age of 39. Started by her brother, Victor Stoeffler, and his wife, Marlene, the Karla Fund sought to educate parents about the benefits of reading to children beginning in infancy. We at Children’s Literacy Network are pleased that … Continue Reading

Parent Praises Value of Read to Kids Program

Anzi Belezi first heard about the Read to Kids program in 2003 when her daughter, Dominique, then age 4, attended the Ann Arbor Head Start program. Free new books she could read to her daughter? She was soon reading to Dominique every day. “Reading opened up a whole new world to her,” says Anzi. Now 14 and finishing eighth grade at Clague Middle School, Dominique earns A’s and B’s, has consistently read above her grade level and sometimes zips through a 300-page novel in one day.

Anzi grew up with no books in her home but loved reading. She knew her … Continue Reading

BRIDGING THE GAP: The CLN Pilot Summer Book Program

It’s officially summer vacation for school-aged children and as the saying goes, “no more teachers, no more books!” Although it may seem like all fun and games, this light-hearted rhyme produces some unsettling consequences. According to research, children from under-resourced families have less access to books than do children from families with more resources. As a result of this disparity, under-resourced children “typically lose reading proficiency during the summers and more advantaged children show modest reading growth during the same period.”* Researchers found that it may not be enough to simply give kids access to libraries, but that it was … Continue Reading

The Children’s Literacy Network Bookfair and Fun for All!

Friends and Volunteers, please support Children’s Literacy Network and our efforts to celebrate and promote literacy during the weekend of May 31-June 2 at the Washtenaw Avenue Barnes & Noble or online at .

Additionally, join in on The Children’s Literacy Network Bookfair and Fun for All! with the entire family on Saturday, June 1 from 10am -2pm. Enjoy a 10am performance by Ann Arbor storyteller Laura Pershin Raynor, a visit from Belle of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast from 10:30-12, music, crafts, face-painting, and refreshments.

By simply mentioning your support of Children’s Literacy Network at the checkout, 20% of … Continue Reading

We’ve Moved! Happily Sharing Space with Family Learning Institute

“Great idea” is the reaction we received from our longtime friends and colleagues at Family Learning Institute when we inquired about the possibility of sharing their office space.   So last week, with the help of many wonderful volunteers, we moved our offices and books to 1954 S. Industrial Hiway, Suite D in Ann Arbor where the Family Learning Institute has provided free tutoring to children in low income  families for over 14 years.

FLI primarily uses the space for tutoring between 3PM and 8PM, Monday through Thursday.   We, CLN, will be using some of their space from morning until … Continue Reading

Welcome to Our New Website

Welcome to our new website!  As you look around, we hope you will recognize that our work is in collaboration with our community partners, generous sponsors and the hundreds of individual donors and volunteers who support our programs.  As a grass roots literacy nonprofit, we depend on the generosity of people who value reading and books and who understand that, in our high-tech 21st century world, it “takes a village” to ensure that all children in our community have an equal opportunity to develop a love of reading and books.

We believe it is the love of books and reading that … Continue Reading

March is National Reading Month

We invite you to take a look at our new site as you celebrate March is National Reading Month.  Although the month of March is a time when teachers, students, parents and literacy organizations focus on the pleasures and importance of reading and books, we at the Children’s Literacy Network consider every day a celebration of reading and books.  Take a look at our website to see how our programs promote reading and the love of books.

If you are not yet a donor, we hope you will consider making a donation to Children’s Literacy Network a part of your celebration … Continue Reading

The Karla Fund Returns

Welcome back Karla Fund!  In 1996, the Karla Fund was established with a mission and focus complimentary to ours:  to help parents appreciate the importance of reading to their children.  Like Children’s Literacy Network, the Karla Fund sought to educate parents about the benefits of reading to children beginning in infancy.   With its emphasis on fostering literacy and a love of books and learning, the Karla Fund found an early home at the Baby Book Club (as CLN was known in 1996), which provided the project a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit affiliation.  The Karla Fund gave free books to mothers … Continue Reading

Read All About it: Family Book Club changes its name to reflect literacy mission

By Janet Miller, Freelance reporter

Posted on Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 5:55 a.m.

Diane Saulter Julie Walden Childrens Literacy Network.JPGDiane Saulter, left, is the executive director of the Children’s Literacy Network and Julie Walden is president of the board. Janet Miller |
The Family Book Club is growing up. 

What began 21 years ago in the garage of cofounder Joan Weisman as the Baby Book Club and later matured into the Family Book Club is now becoming the Children’s Literacy Network

The name change, which … Continue Reading

Children’s Literacy Network Celebrates with a Purpose

A Party with a Purpose. Board President Julie Walden talks about the work of the Children’s Literacy Network with Barnes and Noble guests.

Saturdays in early fall are made for books and storytelling. They are also made for celebrations. All of these components came together on the second to last Saturday in September for a Celebration of Literacy and our Meet and Greet party held at Barnes and Noble in Ann Arbor. The weather brought families inside where our volunteers, Board members, donors, and friends greeted them and … Continue Reading

Support Literacy, our programs while Shopping at Barnes & Noble

Throughout the weekend of Sept 21-23, our friends will be able to support the Children’s Literacy Network by buying books at the Washtenaw Avenue Barnes and Noble book store or online.  A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to us to buy books for the children we serve.

To help us earn money to buy more books just mention our name if you are in the store, or if you shop on-line use our code: 10826071 when you “check out”.    We hope that you will tell as many of your friends, colleagues, and neighbors as you can.  The more people … Continue Reading

Storytellers LaRon Williams and Laura Pershin Raynor Celebrate Literacy with the Children’s Literacy Network

Please join us at the Washtenaw Avenue Barnes and Noble as we celebrate literacy and talk to the community about the work of the Children’s Literacy Network. This special event features a book drive for Children’s Literacy Network and activities for children and adults.

Here’s the Schedule of Events for Saturday, September 22nd:

 10:30 a.m., members of our Board will be on hand to meet the public and to talk to them about our programs.
11:00 a.m., Story time in Spanish and English and a special craft for children ages 3-5 will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
11:45 a.m., award-winning storyteller Laura Pershin Raynor will … Continue Reading

Announcing a New Look and a New Name


Believe it or not, the Family Book Club is 21 years old. Just as the first children to receive books from us have grown, so has the Family Book Club. We are so proud of our achievements and look forward to helping the next generations of kids grow up to be strong readers too. Thus, it is with excitement and a look to the future that we announce our new name – Children’s Literacy Network – and we show you our new logo.

The name is a better reflection of the … Continue Reading

Family Book Club Gains Funds to Continue Its Mission

Heard any good stories lately? We have! This one is about how a small program grew bigger and got some much needed financial support to help it thrive. That’s the kind of news any nonprofit dreams of telling its Board and loyal friends, and that’s just what the Family Book Club (FBC) is pleased to report. The work of FBC on behalf of children of incarcerated parents touched the heart of one of our FBC supporters, Gale Whittier Ferguson, a pre-school teacher in Ann Arbor. Gale let us know that she could help us apply for funding from the Mericos … Continue Reading

Jenni Zimmer Wins Award

The Bob Lyons Community Leadership Award recognizes a dedicated volunteer from a non-profit organization in Livingston or Washtenaw County. The recipient must exude excitement, energy, and devotion to a nonprofit (as Mr. Lyons showed in his service to Cleary University during his 15 years as the chairman of its Board of Trustees) as well as make a positive impact in the community and organization. Jenni has been honored for her co-founding of the Family Book Club, for developing and sustaining a donor base, for recruiting volunteers, for program development, and for her continuing support of the organization as its ambassador … Continue Reading

FBC Announces New Board Members

FBC is pleased to welcome new Board members Karl Pohrt and Stephen Smith. Karl, former owner of the beloved Ann Arbor treasure, Shaman Drum Bookshop, serves as the Board’s Vice President. Karl has served on numerous other boards in Ann Arbor and is especially involved in working on issues promoting social justice. Karl’s love of his grandchildren and of books drew him to the work done by the FBC. Stephen, a professional in the information technology arena, also joined the Board of the FBC in 2011. Lending his expertise in computing, databases, and project management has made him a most … Continue Reading

Family Book Club Farewells

Three long-time contributors to the success of the Family Book Club have stepped down from their roles on our Board. Ellie Banyai became involved with the Family Book Club shortly after retiring from Washtenaw County in 1994.  As the Head Start Coordinator, she saw many children in the program that did not have any experience with books or reading.  “They did not know how to hold a book, get clues from the pictures, or listen to stories being read.  It was obvious that books were not part of their early years,” remembers Banyai. “Joan Weisman and Jenni Zimmer invited me … Continue Reading

Research Shows Importance of Books in the Home

Preventing the Summer Slide and Closing the Achievement Gap

In a three-year study, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, learned that children who do not read over the summer lose two to three months of reading development. This summer reading setback, they note, is the primary reason for the reading achievement gap between children who have access to reading materials at home and those who don’t. Whereas children without books lose two to three months of reading proficiency, kids who have access to books tend to gain a month of reading proficiency over the summer months. This creates a three … Continue Reading

Huron Valley Women’s Prison Inmates Show Their Appreciation

Staying In Closer Touch volunteers were among an honored group of guests at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility attending a program of appreciation for the many hours of service given on behalf of the women serving their sentences there.   Printed in the program for the evening was this quote from a mother:

Staying in Closer Touch has bonded my son and I in a way I thought wasn’t possible from prison.  I never had a chance to read a book to him, and now he listens to my voice constantly as I express my love through the reading.

Inmates served a … Continue Reading

Lincoln Multi-Age Elementary Thanks FBC for “Soup-er” Support

The Family Book Club had the wonderful honor of supporting Lincoln Multi-Age Elementary’s “Soup-er Family Reading Night.” On the menu were books with themes designed to whet the guests’ reading appetites “served” every 20 minutes by “celebrity” guest readers and yummy soup and bread to nourish the crowds throughout the evening. Family Book Club sent home a free book and literacy packet with each attendee. FBC salutes these creative and dedicated teachers, “celebrities,” students, and supporters for finding fun and interesting ways to connect families and reading!

“Positively Girls” a Positive Success

Family Book Club was pleased to partner with Parkridge Community Center in its program aimed at pre-adolescent and adolescent girls, called “Positively Girls.” The theme of the program was self care and positive self image building and was open to low-income girls up to age 18. Family Book Club provided each of the girls with the book The Care and Keeping of You, which answers questions about their growing and changing bodies and teaches them how to take care of themselves.

If you would like to contribute additional books to this on-going program or suggest titles of books with positive messages … Continue Reading

Walk the Talk: Kiwanis Members Do It!

Although they walk the talk all year long with their message to “change the world one child at a time,” the Ann Arbor Downtown Kiwanis paid special honor to children for March is Reading Month by passing the hat at their weekly meetings during the month of March. Through their generosity, funds and books were collected to help Family Book Club further its mission to spread the love of reading to every child who needs help accessing books in Washtenaw County. Thank you Kiwanis!

Thank you Kiwanis Club for Supporting Our Programs!

Thanks to the work of dedicated FBC volunteers, children of incarcerated parents receive a CD of their parent reading a book aloud to them along with the book through our Staying in Closer Touch program. This program is deeply appreciated by the parents who report that their children listen to the recording over and over, day after day.  In some cases parents have not been able to see or even talk to their children in many months.

Family Book Club Executive Director Diane Saulter was invited to speak about our Staying in Closer Touch program at a recent Kiwanis Club meeting. … Continue Reading

Pass the Hat for Books!

We heard that one of our supporting organizations is “passing the hat for books” this month.   At the end of the month they will send us the funds to buy more books.   Any organization you belong to might like to try this one meeting, one month or all year!  The Retired School Personnel Association of Washtenaw County has asked members to bring a book for FBC at each of their quarterly meetings.  We love the wonderful books we have been receiving from them that will be spreading the joy of reading to the children we serve.

March Is Reading Month!

March is Reading Month! All over the U.S., teachers and students take this opportunity to celebrate the joy of reading. At Family Book Club, every day is a day to celebrate the joy of reading.  Family Book Club gives away 8,000 – 9,000 books every year. During March is Reading Month, we take this opportunity to thank our wonderful volunteers who promote reading by bringing kids and books together all year.

Staying in Closer Touch Program Expands to Huron Valley Women’s Correctional Facility

This past summer the Family Book Club was invited to bring our Staying In Closer Touch to the Huron Valley Women’s Correctional Facility (HVWCF). This program unites incarcerated parents and their children through reading. The parent reads aloud a book while a volunteer makes an audio recording. FBC sends a CD of the mother reading aloud along with the book to each child.

In August we began recruiting volunteers to work with the incarcerated moms, bought supplies, began the process of obtaining security clearances and volunteer training. The program met with the first group of … Continue Reading


The Family Book Club celebrated it’s 20th year anniversary on Sunday, September 25th with a group of friends, supporters and volunteers at Gladwin Farm in Ann Arbor.  Guests were entertained by storyteller LaRon Williams and Nutshell, an Ann Arbor band.

The Gladwin Barn was a beautiful venue for a fall celebration and was a perfect venue for hanging fabulous a collection of “Storybook Quilts” on loan to us from the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild.  Each quilt is a recreation of a quilt found in a children’s picture book.   As guests … Continue Reading

Welcome New Board Member Stephen Smith

Family Book Club Board of Directors are pleased to welcome Stephen Smith as our newest board member.  Stephen brings a wealth of valuable experience and knowledge in both the field of information technology and community action.  A former employee of the Ann Arbor bookstore Shaman Drum, Stephen is now the information technology manager for Republic Parking Ann Arbor.  We are pleased to have his energy, ideas and enthusiasm working on behalf of family literacy!

Our 20th Anniversary Celebration September 25th!

Friends, family, volunteers, donors and partners of Family Book Club are cordially invited to join us at Gladwin Farm at 4105 W Liberty on Sunday, September 25th, from 3 to 5 in the afternoon as we thank you for helping us encourage the love of reading and literacy for 20 years.

Our open house party is an opportunity for FBC supporters and community partners to meet and greet one another, learn more about our programs, and celebrate our mutual appreciation for books and reading.

In a celebratory mood we will have:
• local band Nutshell performing their lovely,  Celtic influenced tunes
• … Continue Reading

Welcome new Board member JoAnn Barrett

Family Book Club is pleased to welcome local realtor and businesswoman JoAnn Barrett to our Board of Directors.  JoAnn is well known by many as the former owner of the wonderful White Rabbit toy stores.  She brings to the board her business savy and her enthusiasm for our programs that aim to increase literacy.  Active in the downtown Ann Arbor Rotary Club, JoAnn came to Family Book Club through Rotary’s connection with the Literacy Coalition of Washtenaw County.  She become a volunteer with our Staying in Closer Touch program which she finds very rewarding.  JoAnn has a very strong committment … Continue Reading

Thank you Daycroft Montessori student readers!

During March is Reading Month students at Daycroft Montessori elementary in Ann Arbor accepted a challenge from their school librarian Lissa Main to enter a Read-a-thon on behalf of Family Book Club and the children we serve..

Students obtained pledges from family and friends and started reading . . . a lot!

When the Read-a-thon was over school librarian Lissa Main was thrilled to find that students had turned in pledge money of close to $2000!  Way to go Daycroft readers!

Family Book Club thanks the Daycroft students and their family and friends for generously supporting our mission to give every child in … Continue Reading

“MONTH OF THE YOUNG CHILD” Book Drive at Borders

For the entire month of April, celebrated nationally as “Month of the Young Child”, BORDERS in downtown Ann Arbor will host a book drive for FBC! In 2010, we gave approximately 9,000 books to low-income children through partnerships with local organizations, hoping to develop and foster a love of reading in all Washtenaw County children.  BORDERS patrons were extremely generous during the 2 holiday book drives  and during the “March is Reading Month” book drive!  Thank you Borders patrons! We have two new community partners requesting books for low income children, so we want to continue  replenishing our supply … Continue Reading

Thank You Borders Patrons

Once again Ann Arbor book lovers have generously bought books for children in low income families in our community during the November through December holiday season. Patrons at the Liberty Street Borders purchased over 1000 books for children of all ages that Family Book Club will give to families in Washtenaw County.

We at Family Book Club are touched and delighted with the generosity of our community.

WELCOME to our New Community Partners!

It is with great enthusiasm that we announce a partnership with the following three programs, enabling us to broaden our literacy outreach to young people who want to read!

The Educational Program for Homeless Youth is a program supervised by the Washtenaw Intermediate School District.  Their goal is to keep 200 homeless/independent teens on target for high school graduation.  They meet with this unique population several times a year and provide books that are tied to the expressed interests of these young adults.

The Victory Academy Preschool is a Great Start School Readiness Program (GSRP) that focuses on 4 year olds from … Continue Reading

Two Fabulous People Join FBC Board!

We are pleased to add two fabulous people to the Family Book Club Board of Directors!
Book lover and retired librarian, Frank Richardson, brings many skills and community connections to our board.   Frank served on the Perry Pre-School Board of Directors, which is one of our community partners.  He brings his legal and “young people” knowledge to our organization.  Joining Frank as a new board member is Karl Pohrt, former owner of Shaman Drum Bookstore on State Street.  While his experience with books has been with book lovers at the opposite end of the age range from those we serve, … Continue Reading

Reporting on our August Project: “Reading on the Farm”

A special summer activity for the Lasinski family (Donna~ mom, Alex~13, Nate~11 and Jack~ 9) was to read books with the children of migrant workers at the DuRussell Potato Farm in Manchester, MI.  Each Tuesday, they gathered on a blanket and read from a “family favorite out-loud reading book” and a wide selection of books sent by the Family Book Club.  After very dramatic and enthusiastic reading sessions, each child from the camp was given a book to keep from the FBC.  In the words of the Lasinskis, “… we read a biography of Daniel Boone, Riki Tiki Tavi from … Continue Reading

Family Book Club Receives Award

The Ann Arbor Book Festival Awards The Family Book Club
The 2010 Leader in Literary Arts (LILA) Award

On Friday, May 14, 2010 at Ann Arbor’s Neutral Zone, the Family Book Club was recognized for its commitment to children and reading by the Ann Arbor Book Festival with the 2010 Leader in Literary Arts Award. The award is given to honor a member of the community who has made “outstanding contributions to the prominence of the book, fostering a love of reading, and promoting literacy.” Interspersed between poetry readings and … Continue Reading

Three Hello’s

We are excited to welcome Diane Saulter as our new Interim Executive Director. Diane is a former FBC board member whose background is in teaching young children. She is vivacious and friendly, is passionate about our mission and is committed to building relationships with others who share our goals. Please join us in welcoming Diane!

We say farewell to Jessica Krivan, our former Executive Director. We are grateful to her for her devoted commitment to our organization and wish her well.

We are pleased to welcome two new board members, Roz Biederman and Sue … Continue Reading

Ann Arbor Community Loves Books and Shares the Love

Borders Customers Show Their Love:

While the Michigan economy struggles and many of our partner organizations are challenged, Borders Books shows its ongoing commitment to children with its third year of book drives for us.

We have received over 4,000 books just this spring from their “March is Reading Month” and April “Month of the Young Child” drives. This comes on top of the very successful November & December holidays book drive when we received over 5,000 books purchased by Borders patrons.

We thank the hard working staff at Borders for choosing to … Continue Reading

Books, Books, and More Books

While our book drives are crucial to our ability to give away thousands of books, we are also grateful to the Buhr Foundation, Kiwanis, Rotary Club and other supporting organizations who have given us grants. For years our Mothers and Babies and Read to Kids programs have been supported by TJX Foundation and the Galens Medical Society. Above are some of the wonderful books these grants have enabled us to purchase and give away.

And Where Do All These Books Go?

While our long time community partners such as Head Start, Packard Community Clinic, Washtenaw County Health, continue to give away 1,000’s of books each year, we are always happy to give books to community organizations that encourage literacy activities in the home.

We were delighted when Avalon Housing asked us to donate books for two new community center libraries. At Avalon’s Parkhurst Apartments a staff member started a teen girl book club with our books.

After receiving books to update the library at Interfaith Hospitality Network’s Alpha House a book loving … Continue Reading

Summertime Fun on the Farm: Volunteers Needed

The last two summers Family Book Club volunteers have enjoyed the opportunity to read to children of migrant farm workers at DuRussels’ Potato Farms in Manchester. The children are truly glad to see us and very happy with the books we bring. If you are interested in volunteering for our “Reading on the Farm” program this August, please contact Ernestine McGlynn at or 734-971-5223.

Staying in Closer Touch

A father began his recording with this message,” I’m going to read Bunny Days with a lot of beautiful babies like you.” He went on to read this book to his daughter with such love in his voice, interjecting comments like, “Do you see the pretty eggs?” Another father explained to his daughter that he had chosen a biography of Michelle Obama because “It can inspire you to let you know anything is possible. I’m pretty sure that when Michelle was a little girl she had dreams like you.” One father asked to re-read … Continue Reading

We Have Moved

Our new home is at 3550 West Liberty, Suite 2. We are delighted and grateful to have space in the offices of the Center for Information Management. We now have room for eight bookcases where our nearly 8,000 books are organized and shelved. Our new space is enabling us to serve our community partners more efficiently. Thank you, CIM, for sharing your space with us!

MANY THANKS to Packard Community Clinic for providing FBC with a home for so many years.