Dear Keene Community,

The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) thanks Toadstool Books of Keene and its customers for donating 91 new books to the children of Keene this year. Toadstool Books ran its annual book drive for CLiF over the holidays, collecting new books for the low-income, at-risk, and rural children CLiF serves. The books will go directly to students at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Keene, which was awarded CLiF’s $25,000 literacy grant program, the Year of the Book, for the current school year.

The grant program has provided author visits from NH/VT authors, illustrators and storytellers, including Sy Montgomery, Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, and Marty Kelley, family literacy events, such as a free community dinner with storytelling and new books, new books for classrooms, the school library, the local public library, and ten new books for each student to choose (including the books donated by Toadstool and its generous customers). This spring, the school will host events with authors Sandra Neil Wallace (winner of the Keene Sentinel’s Extraordinary Women award), John Steven Gurney, and Steven Swinburne.

The goals of the Year of the Book grant program are to supplement schools’ existing literacy efforts, increase enthusiasm for reading and writing, increase family engagement in children’s literacy development, infuse the community with new, high-quality children’s books, and create a community-wide culture of literacy. Benjamin Franklin Elementary School was one of 10 Vermont and New Hampshire schools selected for the Year of the Book grant for this schoolyear. CLiF is currently accepting applications for the program for next school year.

Thank you, Toadstool Books and its customers for giving the children of Keene the gift of reading this holiday season!



Communications Manager

The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF)