Books for Detroit

Last year, we did a successful book drive for Detroit’s Osborn High School. Now, we are taking the project to the next level: increasing our capacity, partnering with local community groups in Detroit’s neighborhoods, including InsideOut Literary Arts and the Siena Literacy Center, and we are taking books, dictionaries, and literacy skills to Detroiters of all ages.

Can you help us get this program off the ground?

We are looking to raise $1,500 this month to formally start a 501(c)3 (tax-deductible!) non-profit, a website, and collect and send books to Detroiters in need.

This project is important to me because, as you might know, I dropped out of high school. I was able to beat the odds, primarily, I think, because I can read. Nearly 50% of Detroit’s adult population is illiterate, and the state of Michigan seems committed to NOT teaching Detroit kids how to read.

I know that if you can read, you can learn anything you want–and thankfully, literacy is a skill Detroiters want.

Can you please help? Donations may be sent via Paypal (for now) to

support [@] valerievandepanne.com.

If you would like to make an in-kind donation of books or dictionaries, please email, as there are specific titles we are seeking to collect for different programs and age groups.

Please let us know if you have any questions, or would like to participate in this project in a more hands-on way.

Thank you.