Frequently Asked Questions

Southwest Iowa Raise Me to Read


What is Southwest Iowa Raise Me to Read?

Southwest Iowa Raise Me to Read is an Iowa West Foundation early literacy initiative that aims to improve reading proficiency in all Southwest Iowa students. To learn more about who we are and what we do, check out our About Us page. 

What areas do you serve?

Southwest Iowa Raise Me to Read serves all of Pottawattamie County with a focus on Council Bluffs. 

Can I get books for my classroom/daycare/event?

You have come to the right place! We accept a wide variety of book requests, including bringing books to special events, into classrooms, daycare libraries, providing a reading corner for your business, and more. Fill out the form below if you need books to support low-income children.

Book Request

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How can I get involved?

There are many great ways to get involved, from donating to volunteering to hosting a book drive! Check out our Get Involved page for more information. 

Why is reading proficiency by the end of third grade so important?

Third grade is a pivotal point in a child’s educational journey.

From kindergarten through third grade, children learn to read. By fourth grade, they must be able to read to learn.

In fact, a child’s ability to read proficiently by the end of third grade is the strongest predictor of his or her school success. Children who aren’t reading on grade level by this point are four times more likely to dropout of school – six times more likely if they have lived in poverty for a year.

Currently, 45% of children in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro aren’t reading proficiently by the end of third grade. And because children have spent less time in the classroom since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, even more children are at risk of falling behind.



By focusing on early literacy, the Raise Me to Read campaign will help many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate feeling prepared for college and their careers.

How do I donate books to Raise Me to Read?

We’re so glad you’ve decided to donate your gently used books to Raise Me to Read! Please keep in mind that while all book are wonderful we are specifically looking for books that are like new and for ages 0-8. We’re especially looking for board books, picture books, early readers, and beginning chapter books, in both English and Spanish. Please contact us at and we will be in contact as soon as possible regarding your donation! 

What if I live in Omaha?

If you live in Douglas or Sarpy County you are in luck! There is a Raise Me to Read on the Nebraska side of the river too. You can check out Metro-Omaha Raise Me to Read here