Community and Family Engagement Activities

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Show and share your love of reading and give back to the community during The Great American Read. The possibilities are endless, from volunteering and donating books, to hosting a book club in your neighborhood. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Make Bookmarks

Create a colorful bookmark and donate to a worthy cause (assisted living facilities, non-profit organizations, or youth centers).

Set up a Lending Bin

Create a book lending bin in your neighborhood to help share a love of reading and engage with your community.

Saturday Book Swap Stop

Host a Saturday book swap in your community/neighborhood using books from The Great American Read list. Then meet up again toward the end of the summer or early fall and discuss your favorites! Don’t forget to cast a vote!

Visit a Library participating in The Great American Read

Find a library that is participating in The Great American Read and ask them about upcoming activities related to TGAR. (check your local library)

Family Reading

Designate an hour a week throughout the summer to read as a family. Grab some snacks and turn it into a reading party, hang out on the front porch, or read together at the dinner table!

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Volunteer Opportunities


Make a difference in someone’s life by volunteering or serving as a mentor. This is a great way to help children and teens enhance literacy and reading skills, and develop a love of reading.

Baltimore and Central Maryland

  • Baltimore Reading Partners
    Help children in low-income schools master basic reading and make a commitment to the community.
  • Living Classrooms
    Serve as a tutor or teacher's aide for one of the organization’s after-school programs.
  • Read to the Animals-Baltimore Humane Society
    Bond with a four-legged friend and give companionship to a lonely animal. Bring the kids and share you love of books by reading aloud to a homeless dog, cat, or small animal at the shelter.
  • Reading is Fundamental
    Help build a culture of reading, make an impact for children and become a literacy champion.
  • Thread
    Become part of the family! This innovative organization provides a range of services for underperforming high school students confronting significant barriers outside of the classroom.

Eastern Shore

Western Maryland

  • Read to Succeed
    Get connected to a children's literacy program that strengthens children's reading and writing abilities by providing free tutorial services.

Statewide Opportunities

  • Volunteer Match
    Visit Volunteer Match’s online portal for a variety of opportunities to support learning and literacy skills in children and adults.

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Donate a Book/Find a Book


Everyone deserves a chance to read. You can help make this happen by donating a new or gently used book to a local charity or organization. If you know someone in need of a book, point them to one of the following organizations

Booksavers of Maryland
Drop off a book at this not-for-profit organization that accepts donated books to be resold, reused or recycled.

Friends of the Library: Montgomery County (FOLMC)
Find an FOLMC bookstore and donate new and gently used books. Giving is easy, simply stop by their stores during regular business hours and staff will be on hand to help you.

Forever Free Books
Forever Free Books is accepting donations to help provide disadvantaged children with free books.

Grab some books and drop by a local Goodwill. They accept hardback and paperback books, including textbooks and encyclopedias.

Maryland Book Bank
Make a book donation! The Book Bank distributes over 150,000 free books to children, teachers, schools and organizations each year.

The Book Thing of Baltimore
It’s a good thing! This organization puts books into the hands of those who want them. Bring books and magazines when you come to browse, or drop them off in the after-hours bins.

Little Free Libraries
Pop by a little pop-up library to donate a book, or pick one up to share. The initiative helps increase access to books in the community demonstrating how “reading is everywhere.”

Velocity of Books
Take part in an organization that promotes literacy through the collection and distribution of books.

Donate to a Public Library
Many public libraries collect gently used books in good condition. Seek out your local branch for opportunities to give back.

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