Books for Kids

The Brown Foundation's Books For Kids program is designed to bring books and other educational resources to children from low-income families. The Foundation, together with other interested partners, has established children's libraries onsite in public housing complexes and community centers. Each library also includes a parent section with books and resources about parenting.

The four Books For Kids libraries are stocked entirely with books that are donated or books purchased with funds donated by individuals, churches, schools, businesses and community groups. The Foundation holds an annual Books For Kids Book Drive to enhance library resources and provide needy children with books of their own. Brown Foundation staff currently operate the libraries at Head Start and the Salvation Army.

Since the program's inception, volunteers have collected over 20,000 books to fill the shelves of these libraries. The success of this endeavor is due in part to the Volunteers in Service to America (AmeriCorps VISTA) program sponsored by Corporation for National Service. From 1999 to 2001, the Brown Foundation had eight members of this program working to establish children's libraries. The Brown Foundation is pleased to have been a part of a network of AmeriCorps* programs across the United States working to increase opportunities for all people and to empower under-served communities.

We look forward to your support of the Brown Foundation's Books For Kids program and libraries. Please contact us at 785-235-3939 or for information about donating books or funds.

Program Sites

Edna M. Manago Children's Library

On March 14, 1999, the Brown Foundation, in partnership with the Topeka Housing Authority, opened the Edna M. Manago Children's Library in the community center of Pine Ridge Manor Housing Complex in East Topeka. The library is named in honor of the longest term resident of the complex. Pine Ridge Manor is currently home to 215 families. After this facility was opened it was donated to the Pine Ridge Manor Housing Complex.

Hand to Hand Children's Library

In April 1999, the Brown Foundation entered a partnership with Community First, a local non-profit organization formed to help revitalize a segment of the East Topeka Community. This library, located in the Abbott Community Center, opened in March 2000. After this facility was opened it was donated to the Abbott Community Center.

Un Mundo/One World Preschool Children's Library

In March 2001, the Brown Foundation opened a third children's library located at Community Action Head Start Center. Community Action Head Start serves 120 pre-schoolers from two Kansas counties. This site is operated by the Brown Foundation.

Hope Children's Library

In June 2002, the Brown Foundation opened a fourth and final facility at the Topeka Salvation Army. This site services approximately 50 children and their parents and is operated by the Topeka Salvation Army.