It’s hard to imagine a world without books. When our founder, Lauren Lovett, came to Los Angeles in 2005, that is just what she saw happening in Los Angeles: book shops closing, libraries reducing hours and programs, and little to no conversations about books.

Reading Opens Minds was born with the intent to engage more people in at risk communities in reading for pleasure.

By giving people and students access to resources like books and offering them consistency and mentoring along with that resource, people and students become empowered with the tools they need for healthier and more prosperous lives and as a result we build communities and inspire hope.

We’re different from other reading or literacy programming offered to low-income populations because we’re not teaching reading basics. We’re providing front-list and classic books and helping people to read more thoroughly and to think critically about what they’ve read.

Literacy levels are automatically elevated when readers are engaged and able to better process and integrate what they’ve read. Every time someone comes to one of our clubs and says, “I’m not a strong reader so I don’t really read a lot,” we can’t wait to have them dive into a book and then hear about how it makes them feel. The process is always full of endless discovery and reward.