Next Door - Home of Educare

Books for Kids

"Children who have books of their own possess limitless opportunity!"

Latest News:


New! Can you help us?  Our goal is to collect 5000 books by May 15, 2014

BOOKS FOR KIDS GIVING LIBRARY NEEDS BOOKS!  We are in dire need of gently-used or new children's books, in particular, infant-toddler picture books. This is a perfect opportunity for youth groups, confirmation/church groups and scouts!

Last year, Books for Kids received over 70,000 books to distribute to over 1600 children!  We give two books a month to our early education students here at NEXT DOOR and we also distribute books to neighborhood families and teachers throughout the city -- FOR FREE!

  • If you have a carriable bag of books, please bring in anytime 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday to Next Door, 2545 N. 29th Street, Milwaukee (30th and Wright Streets.)
  • For larger donations:

    Please send us an email or call 414/562-2929  ext 109 to arrange a drop-off time.

Thank you for thinking of us!


Next Door’s Books for Kids program was established in 1990 with the hope that all children in Milwaukee’s central city, regardless of family income or education levels, could have books to call their own.

Watch our READ WITH ME HOLIDAY PROGRAM featuring our wonderful friends and some very special students!




Book World in Mequon Hosting a Year-Round Collection Bin for Books for Kids:  We are so excited that our friends at Book World in Mequon are collecting books for our kids! Thank you so much Book World (Tara), Liberty Carton Company in MN, and Melanie Royer (BFK volunteer) for making this happen!  Book World is located at 10930 N Port Washington Rd in Mequon, WI.  Please bring in your gently-used books or donate new ones! (SEE OUR DONATION GUIDELINES BELOW)  Thank you!

Program Impact

Since its inception, the program has distributed more than 1,500,000 books in the Milwaukee area.  Placing books into the hands of Milwaukee’s central city children is essential because:

  • Low-income families have few children’s books in their homes. 
  • The number of books in a child’s home correlates significantly with reading achievement.
  • The number of books available to a child plays a role in predicting first grade reading achievement                .
  • Reading ability is a strong predictor of success and interest in school.

By expanding the number and frequency of reading experiences Books for Kids inspires young people to develop an appreciation and love for books.  As a result, Milwaukee children improve reading fundamentals, school preparedness, and their chances of achieving long-term academic success.

Volunteer Opportunities

Hundreds of individual volunteers and volunteer groups each year make Books for Kids possible.  There are numerous ways you or your volunteer group can get involved:

United Way Reader/Tutor/Mentor Initiative- United Way of Greater Milwaukee, in partnership with Next Door Foundation and  other non-profit agencies, is launching a new initiative to recruit 3,000 new volunteers in the city of Milwaukee as readers, tutors, and mentors. This opportunity is part of United Way's effort to mobilize one million volunteer readers, tutors and mentors nationally to ensure more children graduate from high school. For more information, please visit  .

  • Read to children during Read with Me”:  Volunteer readers read in small groups of children ages 2-5 on Tuesdays 9-11 am, Tuesday afternoons from 1:30-3:30 pm and Wednesday mornings from 9-11 am.
  • Assist in the “Giving Library”:  Help us to clean, sort, label, and shelve the thousands of children’s books so that they are ready for distribution. 
  • Hold a book drive:  We always need new or gently used children’s books.  A great opportunity for school groups, church groups, girl and boy scout troops, and corporate groups.

For more information about Books for Kids, please send us an email or call 414/562-2929  ext 109.


Books for Kids relies on financial gifts from local corporations, foundations and individuals. The program has received grant support from The Harley-Davidson Foundation, Fleck Foundation, Next Chapter Book Sellers, J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation, Target Stores, Faye McBeath Foundation, Assurant Health, Proven Direct, Bessie A. & Harold M. Stratton Fund and Journal Communications, Inc.

Books for Kids also maintains active partnerships with many corporations, churches, and schools. Some current Books for Kids partnerships include: Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Northwestern Mutual, Baird, Rockwell, U.S. Bank, Fleck Foundation, CH2M Hill, Roundy's Foundation, Next Chapter Booksellers, Half Priced Books, Wauwatosa Village, Bayside Travel, Reformation Lutheran Church, Brown Deer Middle School, and the Volunteers of Lake Country.

Book Distribution

Every Thursday afternoon between 2:00 and 6:00 pm teachers and parents throughout the city of Milwaukee are invited to the ‘Giving Library” located within the Next Door  to choose books for Milwaukee’s children.  Parents and teachers can visit once per month and should bring their own bag for the books. 


Books for Kids accepts new and gently used children’s books for all ages (babies-young adult) through individual donations and book drives throughout the entire year. 

We are in need the following kinds of books:

  • Baby Board Books
  • Children’s Picture Books
  • Children’s Fiction and Non-Fiction
  • Juvenile Literature
  • Children’s Dictionaries and Cookbooks
  • Children’s Books with Universal Themes (friendship, animals, science, etc.)
  • Parenting Books
  • Multicultural Children’s Books

We unfortunately cannot accept:

  • textbooks of any kind
  • withdrawn or discarded library books
  • old books with mildew, torn pages, handwriting, or highlighting
  • magazines
  • encyclopedias or other reference books
  • adult books

Contributors are invited to bring books to: Next Door, 2545 N. 29th St, Milwaukee, WI  53210.

Please contact the Books for Kids Coordinator to schedule a time to drop off your donation.  Thank you!


Next Door | 2545 N. 29th Street | Milwaukee, WI 53210 | (414) 562-2929

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