We work with teachers/coordinators to develop strategies that will encourage children to become empowered by printed text and develop a life-long love and appreciation for books and reading.

We offer opportunities for students in low-income communities to find power in their literacy journey by giving them access to culturally relevant and age appropriate books. 

We strive to increase literacy statistics in low-income neighborhoods, while simultaneously raising awareness in our nation’s more affluent communities around the need to promote literacy. 

Binding Communities Through the Power of Books



As an elementary school teacher in Watts, a gang influenced and high poverty-stricken Los Angeles neighborhood, founder Carla Smith, saw the reasons behind the literacy crisis in America firsthand. Frustrated with the policy from the district, state, and federal level, and desperately wanting to help eradicate the literacy epidemic, Carla founded Book BindED with the intent of providing our nation’s neediest students with a pathway to find power in their literacy journey.

Statistics show that giving students access to books they choose on their own, and own for themselves, can have the greatest impact on not only how much children read, but their attitude towards reading and academics overall.

Wanting to provide students directly with access to great literature, Carla tapped into the most influential resource for age-appropriate books, other children. Starting small in Los Angeles, with the intent of not only providing students in need with good quality books, Book BindED was motivated to show the importance of giving back to young students in Los Angeles communities with an abundance of resources. Students were invited to bring books they thought would spark other students’ interests, from home, in which they had outgrown.

When the bags full of books arrived over the next several days, carried by happy, excited, and eager faces of donating students, Carla knew she was on to something powerful. But it was not until hosting the first ‘bookstore’ in a low-income serving elementary school, was the impact obvious. The joy and utter thrill on students faces as they walked around and chose books that were of their interest, creativities, and curiosities to own and bring home proved just how much choice matters in developing students’ loves for reading. 


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