“The goal: to give as many books as possible, to as many children as possible, in as many places as possible.”
Inspired by her mother, who has worked at a variety of low-income schools, 13-year-old Meagan Warren wanted to help local children who didn’t have access to books.
“I started reading when I was 2, and have loved reading ever since,” she says.
When she realized that there were other children out there who were unable to find a book to pick up and read, she was inspired to start a nonprofit organization of her own – Books For Bedtime.
Books For Bedtime is a 501(c)3 charity that Warren founded when she was just 11 years old. The organization received its Ohio nonprofit status on August 30, 2014.
Warren has won several awards including:
- Kohl’s Cares Regional Winner – April 2015
- Jefferson Award – April 2016
- Prudential Spirit of Community Award, Ohio Middle Level Winner
- Congressional Recognition – March 2016
- Keymaker Award for Bexley City Schools – March 2016
- Points of Light Award
- Read on Ohio Award – October 2015
- Student of the Year – July 2016
“I have given away 19,000 books to kids who don’t have books in their homes,” she says. “I give away books to kids in schools, homeless shelters, food pantries, and new immigrant organizations.”
What makes Books For Bedtime a unique organization is that much of what Warren does is interact with the children when they are given the books. “When I go to schools, I give a speech telling the students more about what I do and how a love of reading can help them grow – mentally and as individuals,” she says.
Warren says she’s hoping to receive grants to help her find more reading programs. She also wants to start distributing Little Free Libraries.
Books For Bedtime will host its first big event, Book Bash 2017, on May 20. “It will be a free event with kids activities and a silent auction,” she says.
If you want to hear Warren speak about Books For Bedtime, you can see her as the closing speaker at the Association of Bookmobile Outreach Services on October 21 in Covington, Kentucky. She’ll also serve as a speaker at the Bexley Public Library in Bexley, Ohio, from 3-4 p.m. on October 22. Then, on December 3, Warren will be presenting on her experience with Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for Cincinnati Area Mensa Regional Gathering at the Doubletree Suites Cincinnati Blue Ash.