Following are some of the organizations with whom Townsend Press has partnered.
Over the last several years Townsend Press has donated $1.5 million to Room to Read. This highly-regarded global initiative, which regularly receives four-star ratings from Charity Navigator, collaborates with local governments in Asia and Africa to develop young children's literacy skills, build schools and libraries, publish children's local-language books, and support girls so they can complete their high school education.
Since 2010, Townsend Press has donated over $3 million to DonorsChoose.org. The donations have underwritten literacy and literature projects for Grades K-1 teacher and Grades 6-12 teachers in low-income schools. TP's first donation of $1 million to DC put books into 3300 classrooms and the hands of almost 300,000 students. A second donation of $1 million supported the efforts of TP and Donors Choose to combat bullying in schools.
Over the last several years, Townsend Press has given $1 million dollars to Children's Literacy Initiative, a nonprofit committed to transforming literacy instruction in kindergarten through third grade. TP's donation launched the multi-faceted Camden Literacy Project. Focusing on Camden, NJ schools with low-income students, the Project funds professional development workshops for teachers and principals; the creation of classroom libraries; the donation of dozens of books to each k-3 child; family literacy programs; and lively school-based literacy events.
In the last three years Townsend Press has provided $2.5 million dollars to the Camden, New Jersey, Catholic Partnership Schools. CPS serves over 1,000 K-8 students, with 93% of the children's families having incomes below the poverty level. CPS believes that the neighborhood school is an anchor for children, families, and communities and that education is the most critical factor in breaking the cycle of poverty.
Over the last few years, Townsend Press has donated more than $1.5 million to Philadelphia Futures, which provides Philadelphia's low-income, first-generation-to-go-to-college students with the tools, resources, and opportunities necessary for admission to and success in college. PF believes that a "college education is the portal to economic self-sufficiency and a satisfying life."
Since 2011, Townsend Press has underwritten BookMates, an interfaith literacy program that provides services to at-risk children in southern New Jersey. BookMates matches adult volunteers with kindergarten through second-grade children for weekly one-on-one reading sessions. As they share their joy of books, volunteers expose youngsters to a wide range of literature, expand their vocabulary, improve their comprehension skills, and spark their enthusiasm for reading.
Townsend Press has had a partnership with First Book, a leading children’s organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books.
Embracing the Child develops libraries for organizations providing emergency shelter to the homeless and for victims of domestic violence, emotionally disturbed teens, runaways and "throwaways." ETC also creates literature-rich environments, tutoring and literacy components for community development and after-school enrichment programs, juvenile detention/youth centers, and camps for disadvantaged and at-risk children and youth in settings beyond the traditional framework of public schools.
Townsend Press provides books and funding to Bess the Book Bus, a mobile literacy outreach initiative dedicated to getting books into the homes of underprivileged and underrepresented children and families. Based in South Tampa, the program visits communities across the country and distributes free books directly to eager young readers through the Book Bus--a mobile library full of books for kids.
The list below includes contact information (and a few letters) from some of the organizations that have received free books from Townsend Press.
The Arc of Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Developmental Disabilities Corp.
Andrea Porcelli, Program Specialist
2350 W. Westmoreland Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center
8 Production Way
Avenel, NJ 07001
Alameda County Library, Juvenile Hall
Write to Read
2500 Fairmont Drive
San Leandro, CA 94587
Attention: Amy Cheney
Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall
16350 Filbert Street
Sylmar, CA 91342
James McKeever, Program Director
Bayview Citizens for Social Justice, Inc.
21186 North Bayside Road
Cheriton, VA 23316
Ms. Alice Coles
Beacon Program at BOK Tech – 4 Programs
Bok Technical High School
1900 South 8th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 952-6200 x2008
"With great pride and an opportunity to boast and give thanks, I would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ for the Bluford Series of books that our (700) campers used this summer in reading groups. These books are truly geared to the inner city child and the contents are readily understandable to them.
In the literacy end of our camps this summer, we used this reading material in our academic enrichment for junior high and high school students. We read aloud in small groups because we find that the comprehension is greatly approved by using this method. As a result thereof, whenever a child had a problem with interpretation of any kind, it became an open discussion and at this time students were able to expound on that which they interpreted from the story line.
We also did book reports, which proved to be an eye opener to the shortcomings that many of our students deal with regarding writing skills or the lack thereof. The students were very pleased and entertained by the books.
On behalf of the Sunrise and Cseep non-profit organizations that run these after-school and summer programs, I wish to thank you for your wonderful contribution. Without your generous offerings we would have no library to call our own. Our library is growing because of Embracing the Child and our children use it more and more.
Thank you again. We look forward to continuing our partnership in the school year to come."
—Loretta V. Crea, CFO
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Montgomery County
540 DeKalb Street
Norristown, PA 19401
Ms. Jeannie Gustafson
Big Brothers Big Sisters SEPA
123 S. Broad Street Suite 2180
Philadelphia, PA 19109
Director of Operations
(215) 790-9200 x314
Bonanza Buying Center After-School Program
700 Lauderdale Street
Shelby, MS 38774
Casper Edwin Hall
Bread and Life
75 Lewis Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Larry Gile, Executive Director
(718) 514-0058 x10
Breathitt Regional Juvenile Detention Center
2725 Highway 30 West
Jackson , Ky. 41339
Meegan Deaton, Counselor
"I just wanted to thank you for making it possible for our facility to receive the Bluford Book series. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from our kids. They have been begging for copies of the series to take home with them when they leave. Our teachers are delighted and say they have never had kids give such a positive response to schoolwork—the kids look forward to doing the assignments that came in the teacher’s guide. Thank you so much."
Brooklawn Public School
301 Haakon Road
Brooklawn, NJ 08030
Bucks County Youth Center
1750 Easton Road
Doylestown, PA 18901
"I am writing to thank you for the generous donation of books received by the Bucks County Youth Center. This summer I organized and ran a three week reading series I called "Popcorn Reading". Each week we chose a book from your series to "popcorn read." (Shared reading out loud: no pressure to read orally but students needed to follow along in case someone popcorned to them. They could read one word, one paragraph or several pages.) During our reading session we discussed situations, made predictions, gave opinions etc. The detailed teachers manual was very helpful. At the end of the session students were asked to complete the book on their own.
At the end of each week we met again for popcorn and treats while we played a comprehension game also reinforcing vocabulary and main idea. The winners of the game earned the privilege of choosing first from the variety of treats (their favorite was a 12oz. bottle of soda).
Upon the completion of the three week series, I actually had five students ask me for the next book in the series. I was very glad to be able to present them with the books your organization made available to our youth center. Thank you for your generosity."
An enormous, heartfelt thank you for donating and sharing your high interest, easy to read books!
Your books have opened windows and doors to reading for our detention students. One young man introduced to Jack London’s White Fang, then devoured London’s novel, Call of the Wild and short story, To Build a Fire. Next he wrote a book report comparing and contrasting the two novels in the hope of encouraging others to unlock the reading treasure he had found in these exciting animal survival stories. He left the detention center requesting his girlfriend to find more London books for him to read.
Another youth found Braum Stoker’s Dracula of good overcoming evil so compelling that he quickly consumed the 428-page book in three days. This was the first book he had ever read from cover to cover. It had whet his appetite to feast on other classics. Next he read Tarzan of the Apes and was reading Gulliver’s Travels which he took with him when he was released.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass appealed to one African American boy to say that was the most truthful book about slavery that he had ever read. His salesmanship and enthusiasm influenced another boy to ask for a copy to read independently. Both young men were delighted to learn they could keep their copies when they left the facility.
The popular Bluford Series have caused students to make some positive decision making choices. The Bully and The Gun were done in groups. Not only did students identify with characters, but the books became a springboard for diving into intense moral decisions where right over wrong took precedence. Also during lunch in the cafeteria a student asked if he could read another book in the series. A girl anxiously wanted to take her copy home to read to her nephew. These books have sparked a reading flame. Igniting a reluctant reader to pick up a book and read and become excited about it makes teaching worthwhile.
Also, books distributed among the dorms have increased the fingertip availability of reading, too. Staff members have commented that some of their assigned residents have chosen to read during free time than do something else.
The comprehensive, detailed teaching guides have been most helpful and well used.
Your books have turned some reluctant readers into voracious ones, an essential key to learning. Your books have put excitement, enthusiasm and motivation back into the joy of reading! Embracing the Child is making a profound and dramatic difference in the lives of troubled youths! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for helping to make that difference happen!
—Linda C., Beverly D., Marion P. and Faith W.
Caddo Parish Juvenile Detention Center
1835 Spring Street
Shreveport, Louisiana 71101
The juveniles have responded to the Bluford Book series very well. They love them. The Director of the Facility, Muriel Burns, has started a book club for the juveniles and staff have gotten involved. Lately, juveniles that have been released from the center have asked to take a book or two with them. Other agencies that are involved with the juveniles have heard about this series and are getting their juvenile involved. The books are great. Thanks you so much.
Camp St. Vincent at Face to Face
109 E. Price Street
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Eileen Smith, Executive Director
Central Juvenile Hall Court School
1605 Eastlake Blvd
LA, CA 90033
Dr. Arthur McCoy, Principal
443 N. 64th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19151
Jane Silverman, Executive Director
Covenant House PA
417 Callowhill Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Delaware County/Chester County Juvenile Detention Centers
370 North Middletown Road
Lima, PA 19037
DHS- Williams School (Oakley Training School)
2375 Oakley Road
Raymond, MS 39154
Director of Education: Stacy Adcock
Drueding Center / Project Rainbow
413 West Master Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Anne Marie Collins
East Columbia High School- Columbia Training School
1730 Hwy. 44
Columbia, MS 39429
Director of Education: Stacy Adcock
Our students are thoroughly enjoying the Bluford Series books that you were so generous to obtain for us. The books are being used to implement our evening leisure reading programs at both East Columbia School and Williams School.
Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women
30 County Road 513
Clinton, NJ 08809
Sherman P. Metzgar
Supervisor of Education
2488 Sanatoga Road
Pottstown, PA 19464
Dr. Herb Levine
I am writing to let you know what a marvelous addition the Bluford Series was to our summer camp program. The counselors tell me that they saw the children walking around and reading them. Some children read themselves to sleep with the Bluford books.
As a facility serving inner-city children of all races and ethnic backgrounds, Fellowship Farm is the perfect agency for distributing these wonderful books.
We look forward to continuing our relationship with you to promote reading and enhance literacy among our children.
—Herb Levine, Executive Director
Front Line Dads
c/o Zion Non Profit Charitable Trust
1501 N. Broad Street
Phila. Pa. 19122
Gillespie Middle School BEACON Program
1801 West Pike Street
Phila, PA 19140
Gina Williams, Program Manager
Gloucester County Juvenile Detention Center
RR2 Box 212
County House Road
Clarksboro, NJ 08020
Stefani J. Ramberg
The students could not stop reading the books. I have never seen them so eager to read. The series was wonderful for them. Thank you again.
Jackson County Youth Center
930 Fleming Ave.
Jackson, Michigan 49202
Brian D. Philson, ACSW
Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency
Juvenile Home School
1424 Gull Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Carol Cramer Brooks, Principal
345 Spear Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
On behalf of the entire KIPP Team and Family, I am writing to express our sincere appreciation for your generous gift. I just got back from a tour of several of our schools. At each stop, our school leaders spoke of how they were excited to introduce your books to their students. Thank you for partnering with us in our effort to equip historically underserved youth with the knowledge, skills, and character needed to succeed in top quality high schools, colleges, and the competitive world beyond.
KIPP Academy Houston
10711 KIPP Way
Houston, TX 77099
Thank you for the very generous gift of a copy of the Bluford series for each of our students. Your support will go an extremely loing way to help our teachers to prepare our students for higher education and self-sufficiency.
From a student:
Recently you donated to our school a great book called Blood Is Thicker. One of my favorite past-times is reading, and I especially enjoy reading a new book that I’ve never read before and discovering a new adventure. Thank you for sending those books. It was very sincere of you to donate them to students who love to read.
Hi, my name is Ollisha Pamplin, and I am a seventh grader at KIPP Academcy: Houston. My favorite class is (coincidentally) English. In English class right now, we have organized book-clubs. Your donation came right on time because some of our book-clubs were having a hard time deciding which book they all agree on. All of a sudden, a big box of the same books came in. It was definitely what we needed. Thank you.
Once again, we love the book, and we love reading.. We even have a chant that says “you gotta read, baby, read.” Reading really means a lot to us and to have so many books donated to us is incredible. Thank you again.
Be nice. Work hard.
KIPP Academy New York
250 East 156th Street
Bronx, NY 10451
KIPP Adelante Preparatory School
1475 Sixth Avenue, 2nd Floor
San Diego, CA 92101
KIPP Ascend Academy
4820 W. Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60651
Thank you so much for your recent donation of library books to our school. We truly appreciate your support! The students enjoyed reading Frederick Douglass: An American Slave in preparation for their upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.
KIPP Asheville Youth Academy
90 Montford Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
KIPP Aspire Academy
1826 Basse Road
San Antonio, TX 78213
KIPP Austin College Preparatory
2410 East Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78741
KIPP Bayview Academy
1060 Key Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94124
I had the opportunity to look through the Bluford series today. You see, I was/am a math teacher so every time I have an excuse to look at middle school literature, I am so impressed by how far it has come in terms of diversity and content—since I was in middle school! The students at KIPP Bayview Academy in San Franciso are lucky to have their OWN set—and they thank you (even though they haven’t started school yet—we open July 16). And I thank you. How wonderful to be able to tell parents that a set of books awaits their child when they enroll at KIPP Bayview Academy.
KIPP Bridge College Preparatory
991 14th Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Thank you so much for your generous donation of the Bluford Series novels. Our students here in Oakland will most definitely enjoy the books. The novels have made our small library more inviting!
KIPP Chicago Youth Village Academy
2710 South Dearborn, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60616
KIPP DC: KEY Academy
770 M Street St
Washington, DC 20003
Thank you very much for your generous donation of a complete Bluford series for each of our 160 students, and a teacher’s manual. The students are ecstatic over your gift and word spread quickly across the school when the books arrived Monday… One of our major projects this summer is establishing a dedicated library to provide our growing student body with permanent space to study, read for pleasure, and work in small learning teams. The Bluford series books you donated will form the core of this new library and will be vital to supporting our goals of challenging students academically while teaching the character skills necessary for success in school and life. Teachers are working to incorporate several of the books into reading class to support our academic focus, with hopes that class reading will inspire students to visit the library to borrow subsequent books in the series to read for pleasure. By encouraging students to borrow and return the books and to take care of them, your gift of library books is concurrently supporting our goals of character education.
KIPP Delta College Prepatory
Helena, AR 72342
KIPP Diamond Academy
Memphis, TN 38108
KIPP Gaston College Preparatory
320 Pleasant Hill Road
Gaston, NC 27832
KIPP Los Angeles College Prep
2635 Pasadena Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90031
KIPP Philadelphia Charter School
Hartanft Community Center
2415 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19133
KIPP Reach College Prepatory
1432 N.E. 7th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73117
KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy
1430 Scott Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
KIPP Sankofa Charter School
140 Central Park Plaza
Buffalo, NY 14214
Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall Court School
7285 Quill Dr.
Downey, CA 90242
Dr. Mickey Cureton, Principal
Martha’s Carriage House c/o Child, Inc.
507 Philadelphia Pike
Wilmington, DE 19809
I wanted to thank you for The Bluford Series books. I have given every child who came through our shelter over the age of 13 the series. They love them! I have heard nothing but great things about the books. Kids who told me in the beginning of their stay that they don’t like to read have picked one up to read. I think the kids like them because the books are about everyday issues that they deal with. I think all the kids can relate to at least one of the books. Friday is reading day here and all of my teens curl up on a couch with a book.
In addition, I have given the series to teens who are no longer in our program. Even though the teens and their mothers no longer reside in the shelter, they still access our services. One teen told me that her mother made the series her reading project for the summer!!!
I truly believe that these books have been a great success! However, I am now running low. Is it possible to place another order? Every child who enters our program receives a bookbag full of books, stuffed animals, toys, crayons, coloring books, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. Your books make an exciting contribution to the teens’ bookbags. Many of our kids arrive with only the clothes on their back and are thrilled to have things they can call their own.
I am so excited to work with Embracing The Child and Townsend Press. Thank you for supporting our kids!!!
McCracken Regional Juvenile Detention Center
501 County Park Road
Paducah, KY 42001
Thanks for the great collection of books. We received them yesterday and as I was unpacking the boxes today the kids were all lining up to get a copy. We haven’t had the chance to do much reading just yet, but the illustrations on the front and the titles certainly have captured everyone’s attention! I’ll keep you posted!
Methodist Services for Children and Youth
4300 Monument Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Director of Education and Prevention
215-877-1925 ext 113
I was thrilled to see that the Bluford Series came with a teachers guide. This will be perfect!
Mid-State Correctional Facility
PO Box 866
Wrightstown, NJ 08562
Supervisor of Education
Middle Earth Academy
299 Jacksonville Rd.
Warminster, PA 18974
Elizabeth A. Quigley
I know I am just one of many voices in the choir singing ’thank you’. But a loud THANK YOU must be said! The Bluford books and the Classics series from Townsend Press arrived on Friday. Not only did we get so many terrific books for our students, but so quickly! Thanks again and again.
Montgomery County Youth Center
540 Port Indian Road
Norristown, Pa 19403
Mary L. Newett
The books you have send to the Montgomery County Juvenile Detention Center have been such a hit. About half of the kids who are here have told me that this is the first time they have read a book. They come into the classroom read for ten minutes, write reflections on their reading and bring the books back to their rooms. The Bluford serries has truly kicked them toward the reading habit. Thank you for all you do.
I just have to share with you some of the things that are happening here. The students love the Bluford series. There are so many students walking around reading, even while walking to the next class. I had a student tell me that the book he read was the first book he ever read. He is on his second book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you again,
Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility
PO Box 994
Annandale, NJ 08801
Norristown Area School District ? 3 Middle Schools
Norristown Area School District
401 N. Whitehall Rd.
Norristown, PA 19403
Ann Kanof, Dir. of Community Relations,
Northern Home for Children
5301 Ridge Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19128