Building Bridges with Books — Uniting Schools, Public Libraries and Families

The Free Library of Philadelphia is excited to be part of Building Bridges with Books — Uniting Schools, Public Libraries, and Families, a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program. Through this grant, the Library partners with the School District of Philadelphia to advance literacy in 10 of the District’s priority elementary schools.

Past Program Successes Lead to Renewed Two-Year Grant

After a successful two-year program beginning in 2015, the Department of Education renewed the grant funding for the program for the 2016–17 and 2017–18 school years. Now, Building Bridges with Books is able to serve 2nd – 3rd graders at all of our partner schools, as well as a new cohort of the Kindergarten – 1st graders at those same schools, for a total of 3,396 students.

The Building Bridges with Books program provides:

  • Student visits to neighborhood libraries on school-day trips to read, learn, and check out books;
  • Free Library librarian visits to school classrooms during the school day to engage students;
  • Free, fun, family engagement events for families and students from our 10 partner schools at neighborhood libraries, which build stronger connections between families and their libraries!

View our Building Bridges with Books Partner Schools and Libraries

For more information about Building Bridges with Books, please call 215-686-5372 or email Jess Pastore, Project Coordinator, at