Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

In2Books (ePals Foundation)

10,710 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult & Child Matching Programs, Children & Youth, Education, Literacy, Primary & Elementary Schools, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: To help all children become curious, independent learners and receive the support they need to realize their full academic and personal potential. Children who can not read proficiently by the end of the 3rd grade are are more likely to drop out of school and face diminished life prospects. Students in low income neighborhoods are at the greatest disadvantage in developing these skills. In2Books was founded in 1998 to help students during this critical period by providing innovative curricula, professional development, and engaging business and civic community members as adult mentors.

Target demographics: 3rd-6th grade Title I elementary school classrooms

Community Stories

170 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Cindy55

Client Served

Rating: 4

This is my 5th year as an in2books teacher, and I cannot say enough about how this program motivates at-risk students to read and write! It allows students to select their own books, and then write letters to a pen pal who has also read the same books. Students who are very resistant to writing willingly type a letter to their pen pal and the revision process is almost painless! I am a veteran special education teacher and my students are SO excited to exchange letters with their wonderful pen pals!

1 Lisa127

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Reading has always been an important part of my life. Like most, it was taken me on journeys far beyond what I could imagine. As an online penpal/volunteer for the last three years, In2Books has helped me continue that journey and share with children all over the United States. I am honored to serve with this organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love being part of In2Books! Since it is a email pen pal program, you can write you letters at midnight if you so choose! As a retired teacher I like being able to share books and connect with students. The In2Books web site is very easy to use, and has lots of good ideas for writing your letters. In2Books is a program for anyone, whether they are educators or not. This would be an excellent program for someone who wants to volunteer but may not have the mobility to volunteer outside the home.

Andrea41

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was a great experience corresponding with a student about what he was reading in class. He was very eager to share about himself and the things he liked about school. I hope I was a positive example for him in his educational goals. I hope to volunteer again. There were a few system glitches that delayed several messages, but other than that it was a great experience that I hope to have again.

D'Ann B.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I enjoyed the interaction with my student. He had a great sense of humor and it was fun to communicate with him on the books. Besides, In2Books, offers great help in doing a good job of working with the students.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In2books is a great organization in which children can experience the joy of reading and sharing books with others. I used this program in my third grade classroom. My students had a better understanding of reading for a purpose and writing responses with evidence from the story. I will be volunteering again this year and hopefully many years to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In2Books is a dynamic program that impacts the lives of elementary students. the program provides books and adult pen pals for children to read with and write to. The In2Books program provided students in my class the opportunity to choose books from differnt genres to read throughout the yar and an adult pen pal was advised and read the same book. My students had the opportunity to write a letter to their pen pal and share their thoughts on the books read and hear what they (pen-pal _ thought. It encouraged my students to read and also provided a forum for them to learn about other areas of our country. My students were excited about the program and looked forward to not only getting their books (which they got to keep) but also getting their letters. I highly recomment In2Books because the program not only assists students in reading, but it affords them the opportunity to increase their knowledge of grammar skills as they enjoy and learn more about themselves and become reflective thinkers.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I found out about In2Books when I was studying to be an elementary educator in Southern Maine. Unfortunately, elementary education is a popular career field, so job opportunities are few. I have always supplemented my education with volunteer experience, so I was excited to learn of In2Books. Since joining the program, I have worked with different students from across the United States, and from very different backgrounds. In sharing my own stories and thoughts, I am able to connect with a child that I know I am impacting not only now, but also into the future with the gift of literacy. To watch a child learn and grow as a student and as a reader is one of the most fulfilling volunteer opportunities I have ever been awarded, and I highly recommend the ePals Foundation to any would-be educator who just wants to make a difference.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with In2Books. This organization allowed me the opportunity to pursue a dream...reading and communicating with children. I have always enjoyed reading and talking to other people about what I had read. I also liked receiving input from others about books to read. In2Books allowed me this opportunity. It was fun to communicate with a student I did not know. His suggestion of the books we were to read was a thrill. I had never read any of the books he had chosen. The program has the books set p by genre. Each book was picked from a different genre and I believe had some correlation to what the children were studying in school. After reading the books, we corresponded by email to give our thoughts about the books. There was always questions from the student about the book. He also included his thoughts and wanted to hear mine. Not only did I become aware of books I had never read, but I had the great joy of seeing a book through a child's eye...it does not get much better than that! There is such a need to assist children and adults in reading and understanding, no matter what the media is. I believe In2Books is a marvelous way to get to be a part of this. I believe it is as good for the children and as well as the adults. I only with my penpal and I could have read more books. Please endorse this program...It has so many special gifts to offer children as well as adults.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife was a K-12 reading specialist for many years and introduced me to in2books (ePals Foundation). I've now been a volunteer penpal to 4 students and have found it to be very rewarding. I can honestly say that I have seen, first hand, how much reading can change a child in just a few short months. The improvement in vocabulary, organization of thoughts, and ability to answer questions was clearly evident in their e-mails to me in response to the books and my e-mails with questions to them.

Marylou N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

All my life I have wanted to be a Pen Pal; but the opportunity never arose. Even though I have lived abroad and wrote countless letters to family and friends, there seemed to be something magical about writing to a perfect stranger. So when, in my retirement, I learned about In2Books, a volunteer program that places adults with children through the safety of a school system, who shared the love of reading books together, I was hooked! "My child" selects a book along with classmates, and we volunteers read that book. Afterwards, "my child" and I become PenPals as we write to each other about what we thought of "our book." This In2Books adventure has been going on over five years for me. And I can't express enough the love and joy reading with youngsters brings into my life. Their innocence and my life experiences bring lessons to each of us. It is amazing how close one can feel to a child unsceen. Won't you give it a try? You will be happy that you did. :0)

Volunteer

Rating: 4

In2Books is a great non-profit that benefits not only the child, but the volunteer as well. I thoroughly enjoyed participating knowing that I was helping a child grow and develop. One of fht books we read was about Albert Einstein. My student asked me quite a few questions that I researched to provide answers for her. It was a positive and rewarding experience! I am looking forward to participating again this year!!!

Crystal16

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I enjoyed volunteering with In2Books. I love reading and I wanted to help kids learn to love readin also. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the books. They were fun and educational. It was a fun, easy and quick way to volunteer.

Toni D.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been part In2Books for several years now, and enjoy it very much. I find it a win-win situation - I get the chance to be penpals with and learn from a child from another state, they get a chance to learn the books they are studying from a totally different perspective. We are usually in different states, so we have a shared opportunity to learn about another part of the country. And In2Books makes it easy to fit in anyone's schedule as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In2books is an activity that allowed me to feel useful to children, to education, and to society. There is a responsibility of educating, respecting a child, as well as an enrichment that comes with our interaction. As a volunteer activity, it is very convenient. I have a busy schedule, working 60-70 hours a week, and it was easy to get used to it... of course in the beginning I questioned if I was doing alright, but ordering a book (which I would usually read in half an hour) and writing to the child about it made me feel at ease after a couple of letters. There is a satisfaction over several months of interaction... and I learned something everytime, without taking much of my time, without being overwhelmed, at all. It was worth writing these 4 letters, maybe 5 if you want, over the course of 10 months, and I will stick with the program for another year...

Marilyn12

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Recently retired and a former elementary teacher who wanted to have more connections with young children to make a difference in their lives, I came upon In2Books as a volunteer opportunity. This organization gave me the chance to be flexible with my time and still mentor young children. I enjoyed reading the books my student and his class chose for each genre throughout the school year. His teacher kept me informed about her class' progress with reading books and writing letters back and forth by email through the site. Best of all, I was able to be in touch and communicate with a young student and still live in my winter home part of the year. I recommend this volunteer opportunity for anyone who enjoys children, reading, writing and has about an hour each month to work from your computer.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was a penpal for In2books this past year, and it has been really fun to write with a kid (I think who lives in New York?). One of the best parts of the program was the email he wrote around Valentine's Day. There was a note at the bottom that said, "HAPPY VALENTINES DAY BEST PENPAL YOUR COOL." The one thing that was difficult about this program was that the letters never matched up--there was never a conversation between me and my penpal. I think part of the reason was that we only wrote one letter every few months. Maybe it would have been more helpful if there were letters in between books too?

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My penpal and I exchanged letters about once a month. The books were easy to read, and I found all of them at my local library, so I didn't have to spend any money. I enjoyed my give and take with a 4th grade boy who lives across the country. I wish we could have exchanged photos, or that I could have purchased a book for him at the end of the program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with In2Books for 3 years. It is wonderful to engage a young reader and feel that I am somehow encouraging a lifelong love of reading.

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I don't have children of my own and wanted to do something to help the coming generation. I enjoy writing letters and especially enjoy reading the colorful letters I get back from the student to whom I write. The books we read in tandem have also been interesting and, even though they are children's literature, I have learned from them. The demand on my time and energy is quite manageable amid my otherwise busy schedule. I try to encourage and motivate the students I correspond with and I find myself so glad I became a part of this project.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love In2Books! I truly appreciate the opportunity to share my love of books and of learning with a child, in a time-manageable format. I have enjoyed reading new children's books and rediscovering old favorites. The cost to participate is minimal, but the payoff is huge!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for a way to volunteer and make a difference here in the United States. I needed something that would work in with my full time work schedule and be of interest to myself and the benefactors. In2Books was perfect. It was simple, easy to follow, fun to engage in and I even learned a thing or two. Such an easy way to make a difference.

Kasey K.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I'm really into getting kids interested in books and I wanted to get involved in volunteering. In2Books has been the perfect place for me. I have been a penpal for over 2 years and have enjoyed reading and discussing books with kids.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

As both a volunteer and someone heavily involved in the realm of Education, I was quite impressed with the In2Books program. I had great interaction with my pal Alexa and I know that the content was age-appropriate and enriching. All too often we overlook the problem of the literacy disconnect between socioeconomic classes and this program is doing a great job at combating the issue. I comment In2Books and the ePals Foundation for putting together such a seamless and wonderful program. I will surely volunteer again.

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I have tried the In2Books for two years and have been completely dissatisfied with the schools. It appears that this program is not meaningful enough to make it a positive goal for the teachers as well as students to read and write letters. I feel that it should be required and not just a program that is a hit and a miss if there is enough time to do it. This should be included in their curriculum and be part of their grade. Anyways, I do not plan on putting any more time into this program since its not taken seriously!

Marci3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I enjoy volunteering with In2Books because it gives me the opportunity to do what I enjoy - reading and writing -- while helping to make a difference in a young student's school year. I really love seeing the improvement in their level of writing and comprehension as we move through the reading units. In2Books makes it easy to get books, through their source, Amazon, or the library. I have to admit that my favorite part of the program is that my volunteer work happens in the convenience of my home, whenever I can fit in the time to complete the reading and writing that my student pen pal looks forward to. It's a great program. I highly recommend!

Natalie28

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am a former English teacher. I used to teach 2nd, 5th, and 6th grade. I had to retire early for my teaching career, so I was excited about working with a girl in the fourth grade. We read the same books and reviewed them. I know that we were both so excited to receive letters from each other. I feel as though I got to know my epal by relating real life experiences to the stories we read. While she was improving on her writing skills and her knowledge of reading, we were also forming a kind of friendship that wouldn't have happened without Epals. My epal had a wonderfully developed sense of humor that showed in her written letters. I have enjoyed it so much, that I am looking forward to meeting a new epal friend.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I considered it a privilege to be a tutor in the In2Books program. We hear all sorts of bad things about the school systems these days, and with good reason I believe. But this program has real value for the children and I found myself wishing that all schools could be a part of this or something similar. Not only does it give the children the chance to write something meaningful in a real life context, but it also provides them with opportunities to interact with responsible adults that can be good role models and examples for the children. The child that I was pen pals with always expressed enthusiam at the chance to write and receive letters back, and although the timing wasn't always ideal for me, I still spent a lot of time composing each letter to give the child the best experience possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Get involved with a child's educational development. Read a book with a child! This is what In2books is all about. Become a pen pal. This is such a fundamental thing one can do to enhance a child's learning experience. And it is fun too. You get to learn about them too and all their interests, hopes, and dreams. Children are so creative and always have something funny to say. I enjoy reading, so helping someone else read & learn is so satisfying. When they write that they can't wait for the next letter, well that means you are making an impact. That's what it's all about. Cheers!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In2Books is a great way to volunteer online. You get to share letters with students about books they are reading in class. I always looked forward to getting my letters. The online nature of this program allowed me to read and communicate on my own schedule, which was great. I look forward to volunteering again!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was able to participate in the In2books program this past school year. It was a great experience. I was able to read and discuss book with my pen pal. We had great conversations and I really enjoyed my time with him. I would love to do it again this year. My only concern was the time line. It was constantly changing and sometimes the books would not show up on the timeline until two days before the assignment was due. Overall, the program was great.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been working as a volunteer with In2Books for two years. I love the experience and think it's a great way to volunteer without having to leave your own home! Literacy is such an important thing and this is a great way to support students who need us most. I'd recommend In2Books (and have!) to anyone. I am getting my Masters in Reading Education and have recruited other teachers from my classes to join.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoy reading books with my students and seeing their varying understanding versus mine. They have so much enthusiasm and really enjoy the exchange. It is a nice contrast to adult book clubs I belong to. The kids focus on the positive and the adults focus on the negative.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

In2Books is an online mentoring opportunity that matches adults as pen pals with students. They then work through a series of different books together, while exchanging letters discussing their questions and opinions on the subject matter, as well as developing a friendship. I have participated as an online pen pal with the In2Books program each of the past four school years, and I intend to continue for the foreseeable future. I've been matched with six students thus far. I feel that, implemented appropriately, this program has great potential to positively impact children with regard to reading and writing skills. My student pen pals have always seemed genuinely enthusiastic about exchanging letters. They aren't always very focused on the books we are to be sharing, but they enjoy communicating with someone who takes an interest in what matters to them. The level of responsiveness from the classroom varies. Some of the students' teachers are very involved and take initiative to let the volunteer pen pals know exactly when the class is at each stage of the process. However, this hasn't been common in my experience. I understand that classrooms are extremely busy, and it's not always possible to keep up with the exchange of letters. My critique of the In2Books program would be that it seems to be somewhat unrealistically scheduled. From what I've experienced with six different classes, it is simply not feasible for students to get through the five specified genres within the required timeframe. The most ambitious class I worked with made it through only three full sessions. Generally, things start out fairly well, but after a few months at the most, classrooms fall far behind the In2Books online deadline schedule. Most times, I've stopped receiving letters from my student pen pal before the school year is even half over. In some cases, they continue through the books without sending letters, but usually activity and communication with In2Books seems to cease entirely. I write my letters as soon as possible, and it takes quite a long time to receive a reply, if one ever comes. I would suggest that instead of having a set order of genres to proceed through, perhaps they could allow each classroom to tailor their individual curriculum to better fit their needs and time constraints. A lot of the students really struggle with reading and writing, so it seems like it could become burdensome for them to muddle through while following a particular schedule. Perhaps each class could select three genres each year that interested them. As it is now, most classrooms never reach the final cycles during the course of a school year. All in all, this program is definitely worthwhile, but it does require the volunteer to be patient and flexible. Just remember, you're making a difference, and don't let it get you down if you don't hear back from your student. The teachers that are quite involved have assured me that the students really appreciate the letters they receive.

Susan112

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For me, reading when I was growing up was like watching TV for today's youth. We had a TV, but I preferred to read as I could make the scenery MY scenery, the clothing MY designs, etc. Being a volunteer reading mentor I how I can try and show other young people how to have imagination and creativity. I work a full-time and a part-time job. So, volunteering for In2Books is conducive to my work schedule. I CAN do it all! :)