Give Back, Give Books provides new books to Rochester city school libraries and for city students to take home with them. Most books are donated through the Teachers' Choice program (see below). 

Launched in 2006, we accept and distribute new books, encourage exciting literacy projects, and engage community members. We have collected and distributed more than 42,000 new books to city students and city school libraries. Read more about this program and how you can support it below. To donate, click the button below and designate your donation to "Give Back, Give Books." Thank you for your support!

Contact us for more information about Give Back, Give Books


Teachers' Choice

REF distributes most books through the Teachers' Choice application process. We offer new books to Rochester educators serving city students.

Educators can apply for up to 200 new books from our library, or up to 100 special order books. Books are to be used first in a creative classroom activity, then ultimately given to students for their home libraries.

Our theme for the 2018-19 school year was “Reading is Revolutionary,” in honor of Rochester’s own Frederick Douglass and his world-changing life and work in conjunction with his 200th birthday.

We now include example applications modeled on past projects in the application materials. The application is available online here.

Congratulations to all of our 2018-19 winners! A full list is available here.

Teachers' Choice applicants may use books in projects supporting literacy such as student book clubs, parent-child reading events and other activities or events. Most books donated for teacher projects are required to be given to students for their home libraries by the end of the school year. Educators can choose to keep a class set.

We will be releasing the application for 2019-2020 this fall. Email info@rochestereducation.org to sign up to get notified.

Support Give Back, Give Books


Donate books

REF gladly accepts donations of new books for students in grades K-12! Our greatest need is for books geared toward younger students. 

Organize a Book Drive

REF has given over 42,000 new books to Rochester students since 2005. Let's make that number even bigger! Organizing a book drive within your office or organization, club, sorority or fraternity, church group, sports team- or making a book drive part of your next birthday party or event- is a fun, easy way to support Rochester students. Contact us and we'll help you get started!

donate funds

You may also donate funds to REF to support the purchase of new books for city school classrooms and students' home libraries. High quality children's books can be purchased by us for as little as $5 per book. Please designate your donation for "Give Back, Give Books."

“When I was about eight, I decided that the most wonderful thing, next to a human being, was a book.” 
― Margaret Walker