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Books for Keeps

Our largest program, Books for Keeps, features fun, educational Reading Celebrations that combine storytimes, motivational literacy activities, and the opportunity to select a book to take home and keep. Each year, children at 100 schools, early childhood centers, and afterschool programs participate in 3-5 interactive Reading Celebrations led by RIF Pittsburgh outreach coordinators. Designed to engage children in the joy of reading and learning, Reading Celebrations pair interactive storytimes with engaging, complementary activities like crafts, games, and even science experiments! By weaving literature together with art, music, creative writing, and even dance, RIF Pittsburgh works to ignite a passion for reading and learning that will follow children throughout their education. Reading celebrations feature stories, art, music, science, creative writing, dancing, outdoor play, special guest readers, and so much more! These positive reading experiences are especially critical for children at-risk of educational failure, providing them with the tools they need to succeed in school, and beyond. Each year, this program places nearly 50,000 books a year into the hands of nearly 16,000 of the most economically disadvantaged children in Pittsburgh.
Books for Keeps “Math and Science” – This program takes advantage of the integrative nature of reading to combine math, science, and literacy, together in a meaningful way. By engaging children in hands-on math and science activities that complement our regular Reading Celebrations, we encourage curiosity and a passion for discovery in children, and help to plant the first seeds for a life-long love of learning. This unique program introduces children to new books that explore the world through the lens of math and science. Every Reading Celebration begins with an interactive storytime. Then, students are given the opportunity to become mathematicians and scientists themselves by participating in hands-on science experimentation and interactive math-based games based on the book. By hypothesizing, estimating, observing, predicting, and measuring, children form meaningful connections between what they experience through reading and what exists in the world around them. At the end of the Reading Celebration, every child chooses a brand-new book from a selection that includes math and science titles to take home and keep. This past school year, over 3,100 children participated in the program.


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