Our mission is to promote literacy in at-risk communities through book clubs, empowering individuals, building relationships and inspiring hope.
Designed to reach those most in need, ROM book clubs encourage the shared experience of reading and discussion to nurture self-worth, foster empathy, encourage meaningful communication and increase sense of community. By providing new books and mentors we envision comprehensive literacy as a gateway to success and an opportunity to expand understanding, benefiting individuals and the greater good.
From our inception in September 2011, and through June 2014, the Pasadena Arts Council provided ROM fiscal sponsorship through the EMERGE program. In July 2014, ROM received official 501(c)(3) designation and became a charitable nonprofit organization (Tax ID: 46-3640574; DUNS: 080306851).
WHAT WE DO & WHY
ROM runs after-school, summer intensive and in-school reading intervention programs. Using new books, specially trained volunteers facilitate weekly, bi-monthly or monthly book club meetings with students in grades 6-12 and adults.
Through strategic partnerships with the Los Angeles Education Partnership, Youth Policy Institute, AmeriCorps Vista, Five Keys Charter Schools and New Earth Organization we are able to identify and serve students most in need. We also offer book clubs for the incarcerated and those enrolled in re-entry post-incarceration centers like Homeboy Industries.
A message from our Founder
When I moved to LA from NYC in 2005, I noticed that aside from a few friends in the theater community, no one else seemed to be reading or at least that wasn’t the norm; conversations about books were rare. Then I discovered the dearth of libraries in public schools. Smaller bookshops were already in trouble or closing while libraries in less affluent neighborhoods usually had limited hours, offered no programs and had few visitors.
I wondered if I could start something, a small project to engage more adults in reading for pleasure and provide low-income students and families greater access to books. That’s when the idea of giving away books through community book clubs was born.
Today ROM has book clubs all across LA and we are continuously working with authors and publishers to attract new readers. Every time someone comes to one of our clubs and says, “I’m not a strong reader so I don’t really read a lot,” I can’t wait to have them dive into a book and then hear about how it makes them feel. The process is always full of endless discovery and reward.
I can’t imagine a world without books. And no one else should have to either. Please join in celebrating our accomplishments and sharing ROM’s commitment to supporting literacy, building self-esteem and inspiring hope for a brighter future.
Thank you for your support.
To get to know our Board of Directors, just click!
Eve Bianco Michele MacKay
Laura Flanagan Nicole Marcks
Meg Howrey Laura Mullane
Kate Jetmore Suzanne Oberlander
Kimberly Kay Carrie Preston
Jens Kohler James Still
Carol Lovett Jessica Quackenbush
Lesley Holmes – Executive Director
Lauren Lovett – Volunteer Manager
Nancy Heathman – Graphic Design/Media Manager
Jessica Quackenbush – Program Development and Analysis
Sasha Couch – Development Associate
Mindy Phelps Stanton – Copywriting/Editing
Draft Horse Studio – Website Design
Lead Facilitators: Katie McCuen, Sasha Couch, Emily Aaronson, Meyghan Hill, Jessica Mariglio, Stacy Reader, Roberta Golden, Michael Paul, Lauren Lovett, Keith Terrell, Lesley Peters, Airam Romano, Rochelle Gold, Kristin Couture, Jolie Augustine