Next Door
Press Release

Next Door celebrates 30 years of Books for Kids

The celebration will feature Next Door’s largest community book drive July 12-23

By - Jul 1st, 2021 11:36 am
Nextdoor. Books for Kids. 30 Years

Nextdoor. Books for Kids. 30 Years

Milwaukee (July 12-23, 2021): Next Door is celebrating one of its flagship programs this summer with a 30th birthday celebration for Books for Kids. For three decades, Books for Kids has provided more than a million free books – through community donations – to Next Door students and children across Milwaukee to help them build their home libraries, early literacy skills and a love of reading.

As part of the birthday celebration, Next Door is hosting its largest ever book drive from July 12-23. The agency’s goal is to provide three books a month per child for more than 1,300 children across Next Door’s early childhood education programs in the upcoming school year. The celebration will culminate in a virtual event on July 28 celebrating the program’s history and announcing the results.

“Support for Next Door’s Books for Kids program is needed now more than ever as Next Door prepares to resume 100% in-person programming for the upcoming school year,” Next Door President Dr. Tracey Sparrow said. “Ensuring our children have access to more books at home is part of the critical transitional support our team will be providing them after a difficult year.”

Here’s how you can help:

  • Host a book drive with friends/family, school, workplace, congregation and more (Next Door will provide a book drive kit with resources to support the drives)
  • Donate gently-used books from home
  • Shop Next Door’s Amazon Wish List for our high-need books 
  • Make a financial gift to the program
  • Ask a friend to make a donation
  • Spread the word across social media using the hashtag #B4K30
  • For more information/event registration, visit

Next Door would like to give a special thanks to the Presenting Sponsors of the Books for Kids 30th birthday celebration – Linda and Michael Groth and Mary and Ted Kellner. We would also like to recognize Brenda and Matt Levatich, Executive Women International and Quarles & Brady LLP for their generous sponsorships.

About Books for Kids

Books for Kids was founded in 1990 by Mary Kellner – a long-time Next Door champion and former Next Door Board Director. The program began by inviting teachers to come to Next Door and select free books for their classrooms. Today, Next Door continues to invite teachers and community members at large to visit Next Door’s library for books; distribute books to Next Door’s center-based and home-based students during library visits; and give away more books to Milwaukee children through a mobile library and special requests from organizations like pediatrician offices and fire departments. Learn more about year-round programming and volunteer opportunities with Books for Kids at


About Next Door

Next Door supports the intellectual, physical and emotional development of children by partnering with their families for success in school and the community. Next Door serves more than 1,300 children a year, from birth to five years old, with two locations in Milwaukee’s central city and 11 early childhood partnership sites in the community. Through home- and center-based programs, Next Door strives to create a strong foundation for success by closing the opportunity gap for children from under-resourced families. Next Door’s highly qualified team provides critical educational support during a child’s most important developmental years with a focus on academic achievement, building social-emotional skills, and helping children become better prepared for school. Learn more information about Next Door at

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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