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Picking an Orange Book

Mission, Vision and Values.

Our mission is to level the literacy playing field for K-8 students living in poverty by providing high quality, high-interest, culturally relevant books, and a transformed school library space that invites students to spend time and read.

We provide books to schools in low-income neighborhoods where roughly 80 percent of students live at or below the poverty line. Most students at the schools we serve are children of color and children of immigrants. Since 2016, Access Books Bay Area has donated more than 80,000 books, and transformed 18 school libraries that serve children with the most limited access to books in the Bay Area. We are a sister organization to Access Books in Southern California, which inspired our work and has been operating since 1999.

So many children never leave the five block radius of their home. Books can give them another world.

“Give a child a book and she’ll be happy.
Give a child a library and she’ll be literate.”


– Rebecca Constantino, founder of Access Books in Los Angeles

Literacy is a fundamental right

We believe that all children, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic status, have the right to an educational environment that fosters a love of reading. Study after study has shown that students who read more do better. And not just academically, but in life. This benefit should not be reserved only for the children of the affluent and well-educated.

School libraries matter

In schools with high quality, well-stocked school libraries, children do better. Yet California provides no dedicated funding for school libraries. This is a crisis in low-income communities especially. We believe that every child has the right to have access to a high quality school library space and collection that will help foster their love of reading.

Diversity & representation matter

When the books in a school library do not reflect the lives and reality of the students at the school, or are full of outdated information and harmful stereotypes, children are not inspired to read. We believe that every child has the right to see themselves in the books they read, as well as to become inspired, and gain empathy walking in the shoes of others.

Our Team

Board of Directors

The Access Books Bay Area board of directors is a team of hard-working, hands-on, passionate advocates for the cause of literacy in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Amanda Collins

Executive Director & Board President

Alison Guan

Program Director & Board Secretary

Linda Forrester

Program Director & Board Member


Kavitha Pendyala

Board Treasurer


Robert Coles 

Board Member


Cathy Cheng

Director of Fundraising and Corporate Outreach & Board Member


Rachel Kim

 Board Member


Sofiya Melnykova

Web Content Administrator & Board Member

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Kirsti Arora

Board Member


These talented and dedicated individuals volunteer their time long-term with Access Books Bay Area in a variety of fields. To join this team, contact us at


Meera Nair

Corporate Outreach and Fundraising


Shreya Hambir

Marketing & Communications


Cecilia Jones

Artistic Director

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Maureen Griffin

Marketing &  Communications

Our Sponsors & Partners

To find out how your company can become an Access Books Bay Area corporate sponsor, visit our Corporate Sponsorship Page.

Sage Foundation
A&O Shearman
CBIZ Retirement Plan Services
Sacred Heart Community Service
MUFG Union Bank
Hassett Ace Hardware Palo Alto
Little Free Library
Environmental Volunteers
A Bigger Room
Highwind Impact Fund
Mission City Community Fund
Rotary Club of Woodside/Portola Valley
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