Bringing Up a Bookworm

Copy of Copy of M_Townsend-BUABW-Logo

 The Mission:

Bringing Up a Bookworm provides children with foundational reading skills by encouraging parents to read aloud to them from the day they are born. 

Donate to Bringing Up a Bookworm

Marsha’s Reading List for Infants 

Project Overview

Social entrepreneur Marsha Townsend, fourth grade teacher and reading specialist, has spent a lifetime devoted to education. FullSizeRender (10)Every day Marsha sees students with bona fide learning disabilities which prevent them from developing reading skills. However, she also sees many students who have developed skills more slowly than their peers because they did not enter school with the necessary literacy skills.  She watches these students struggle not only with reading skills, but also with self-confidence. Tragically, students like this often grow to dislike reading altogether.

So when Marsha read Mem Fox’s book, Reading Magic:  Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever, it confirmed what she already knew about the role of early read-aloud time in developing literacy skills in children.  She wanted to share the research-based evidence with as many young parents as possible.

Making It Happen

Gift Bags

Mem FoxExpectant mothers receive a gift bag from Bringing Up a Bookworm at an early obstetrics appointment. The gift bag includes a copy of Mem Fox’s book, Reading Magic:  Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever, a brochure for local libraries, an introductory letter, and information about maintaining contact with Bringing Up a Bookworm.

Bagging Parties
Usually Marsha and her team assemble the gift bags, but it sure is a lot of work!  Literacy-minded friends can host a Bringing Up a Bookworm Bagging Party!  As a hostess, you may invite your friends and provide a light refreshment.  Bringing Up a Bookworm provides the program and the materials to stuff the gift bags.  The friends you invite, rather than spending their money on a kitchen gadget or purse they do not really need or want, make a donation to cover the cost of the bags you will stuff.  The amount of your friends’ donations determine the impact your party will have.  What a great way to make a difference in the life of a little child!  This is a great opportunity for a ladies’ group, or even a baby shower with a purpose!

The Vision

Bringing Up A BookwormWe envision every expectant parent receiving a free copy of Mem Fox’s book, Reading Magic:  Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever, in which the author makes a simple, yet powerful, case for reading aloud to children from birth.

It is our desire that these parents, having read this book, will follow through and read regularly to their children in infancy and toddlerhood, giving each child not only valuable reading skills, but also enjoyable experiences that bond parent and child in a warm environment of safety, security, encouragement, and love that will be positively associated with reading as the child enters and progresses through school.

Children who enter kindergarten with the literacy skills necessary to read experience greater academic success in school, which leads to a greater self-esteem and a willingness to take risks in their learning.  The strong foundation in reading and self-esteem built from pre-school time spent reading with their parents sets them up for academic and personal school success.

Marsha’s Reading List for Infants

Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? by Bill Martin

Corduroy by Don Freeman

The Everything Book by Denise Fleming

The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

Good Job, Little Bear by Martin Waddell

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

The Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews

Please, Baby, Please by Spike and Tonya Lewis Lee

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox

The Super Hungry Dinosaur by Martin Waddell

You Can Do It, Sam by Amy Hest

Want to help?

  1. You can spread the word about Bringing Up a Bookworm. Share the link to this page on your social media!
  2. Your donations would be greatly appreciated.  They are fully tax-deductible! Simply click on the donate tab below.
  3. Would you like to help in some other way?  Email!

Donate to Bringing Up a Bookworm 


Thank you, Schuylkill Valley!

Thank you, Schuylkill Valley, for hosting a T-shirt fundraiser!


Humanitarian Social Innovations & Bringing Up a Bookworm

Our Partnership

Social entrepreneur Marsha Townsend entered HSI’s Incubation:  Start Something! program in June of 2015.  During the incubation period she explored her idea for a nonprofit organization and decided to prepare Bringing Up a Bookworm for fiscal sponsorship in the Acceleration: Do Something! program, which she entered in September of 2015.

Humanitarian Social Innovations (EIN: 46-4779591) treats funds received for the purpose of this project as restricted under the charitable trust doctrine.  All funds, minus administrative fees, are dedicated to the purpose of this project and will not be used to pay the expenses of another.