Students to receive 500k free books through UChicago My Very Own Library

Allyson Barkan  //  Sep 27, 2019

Students to receive 500k free books through UChicago My Very Own Library

Here at Scholastic, it’s our passion to make sure kids have access to books they want to read. And according to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report: 7th Edition, we know that the majority of kids ages 6–17 agree their favorite books are ones that they have picked out themselves. That’s why Scholastic Book Fairs is so excited to continue its partnership with My Very Own Library, an international initiative that encourages literacy by offering students in need an opportunity to own their own books and build their home libraries.

Even more exciting? The University of Chicago recently assumed leadership of My Very Own Library, and on September 24, 2019 launched the UChicago My Very Own Library literacy program. By partnering with Scholastic Book Fairs, schools and nonprofit organizations, the UChicago My Very Own Library literacy program is committed to putting books into the hands of students in pre-K through eighth grade, and will be providing half a million free books by the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

In addition to Chicago, the UChicago My Very Own Library literacy program supports students in Newark; Milwaukee; Kansas City, Missouri; Richmond, California; Delaware; and the Dominican Republic, and implements its mission through Scholastic Book Fairs, the program’s exclusive book fair and book supply partner. Each student at participating schools will bring home 10 books of their choice every year, and by the completion of the program, students will have received a total of 100 books from pre-K through eighth grade. This school year in Chicago alone, 17 public schools are participating in the program and, by the end of the school year the program will have given 234,000 books to support literacy efforts for Chicago students.

As part of UChicago My Very Own Library, researchers with the University’s School of Social Service Administration will study the program’s impact on educational outcomes and will provide findings and suggestions for improvements for the following year. The University’s Office of Civic Engagement Neighborhood Schools Program will play an important role as well by aligning UChicago undergraduate students with volunteer literacy support roles at participating schools in Chicago.

Founded in 2011, My Very Own Library was designed to foster a lifelong love of learning in children while also helping them to own and take pride in their home library collection. The program has served more than 50,000 students and distributed more than 2 million books since its inception. To learn more about UChicago My Very Own Library, visit: