River City Readers

River City Readers promotes the love of reading in the St. Louis area by providing books, author events and related programming to primary and secondary school students in the St. Louis Public School system.

We’ve provided over 6,000 books in the past 7 years to St. Louis Public School students.  Take a look at the books we’ve provided here.

Become a Sponsor! We need your help to reach our goal of bringing books to as many children in the St. Louis Public School system as possible! Sponsoring a student is tax-deductible and only costs $20 every other month ($100 per school year). You may sponsor an entire classroom for $2,500.  We accept sponsorships from both individuals and businesses.



How it works:

Book experts at Left Bank Books select classrooms from some of St. Louis’ economically disadvantaged public schools. We work with teachers to select diverse, exciting books that we then deliver to students – each with personalized bookplates!

From time to time, we are able to bring in the authors of these books. Pulitzer Prize-winner Jane Smiley and many other authors have visited River City Readers schools. We’ve even teamed up with Metro Theater Company to introduce students to live performances!

Did you know?

* Children growing up in homes with books complete an average of three more years of schooling than those in bookless homes, independent of other factors.
* 61% of low-income families have no age-appropriate books in the home.
* 41% of children in St. Louis City Public Schools are living below the poverty line while 85% are enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program.

Children in the St. Louis Public Schools are faced with so many challenges that they don’t usually have a chance to discover reading outside of school hours.

River City Readers sponsors students in the enrolled classrooms for an entire school year.  The children receive popular new books every other month, each one inscribed with their name so they can start their own personal library at home.

For many of these children, these will be the first books they can call their own to keep and treasure. They are new to the idea of reading outside of school assignments. We hope to build their love of books and make lifelong readers of them all.