OUR HISTORY: IT BEGAN WITH A LIBRARY
As a former middle school English teacher, Judy saw firsthand how challenging it was for hardworking parents to find time to visit the library, select appropriate books, and read aloud to their children. This problem was compounded for parents new to the English language. Indeed, many parents – whether immigrants or native-born – often did not have access to books to read aloud to their children in either their native or targeted language.
Judy eventually left teaching and joined the family business at RSP, a manufacturing firm in Fremont, California where a majority of employees were immigrants learning English. While these men and women were seeking a better life for themselves and their children, they had little time to hone their own and their children’s reading and English comprehension skills.
THIS WAS THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT.
During her teaching career, Judy had taken courses given by children’s literature specialist Kay Goines. Judy hired Goines to recommend quality, culturally responsive trade books that would best serve the needs of RSP employees. She also created audiotapes of Goines reading the books aloud. Soon a library of these specially selected books and accompanying audiotapes were made available to employees in the RSP workspace. Employees were immediately enthusiastic about the program.
SO WAS BORN THE BRING ME A BOOK LIBRARY.
When the RSP firm was sold in 1997, Judy made Bring Me a Book a personal, continuing priority. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors and provides key funding for core operating expenses. After selling the company, Judy Koch officially founded Bring Me a Book as a non-profit and opened its doors to promote community literacy.
Bring Me a Book has national and international outreach through its affiliates in other parts of the country and world. And Bring Me a Book works with our Literacy Champions, public and school libraries, and Bookelicious to make sure that all children, birth and beyond, in under-resourced communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the states have access to the joy and transformational power of books they choose themselves to read and, therefore, will love best.