About Us

Books for Babies is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to promote literacy and a love for learning for babies ages birth through four years old by donating new or gently used books to underprivileged families. Our goal is to raise awareness of the importance of literacy in babies and toddlers, the impact reading will have on them for the rest of their lives and what we can all do to make a difference.


At Books For Babies, we believe that the development of literacy skills is at the very heart of empowering babies and toddlers to thrive in school and in life. Books for Babies has drop off locations throughout Long Island, Queens and Long Island City. People can donate new or gently used books at any of the locations. Books for Babies packages them in colorful, red totes and delivers them to families in need in the local community.


At Books For Babies, we believe that the development of literacy skills is at the very heart of empowering babies and toddlers to thrive in school and in life. That’s why we create reading solutions that support the child - in the home and in the community.


We are partnering with corporations, districts and schools across the country to inspire lifelong readers and learners - one book at a time and one baby at a time. research-based literacy instruction, to expert professional development, and groundbreaking family & community engagement, we are with you every step of the way on the path to discovering the joys of reading to your baby or toddler.

Our Story

Books for Babies was founded by two high school friends, Nicholas Donatelli and Catarina Chelius who wanted to share their love for reading while making a difference in their local community. Since its inception in June 2018, we have secured box drop locations throughout Long Island. We have been featured in Newsday’s Way to Go section, Living Well Magazine and have been honored and recognized by our local politicians and the town of Huntington. We are teaming up with national corporations and sponsors to promote literacy in babies and inspire lifelong readers and learners - one book at a time.

Meet the Team

Picture of Cool Dude
Nicholas Donatelli
Co-Founder

Nicholas attends Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York where he is a member of the Varsity Diving team as well as a member of various service, religious, and academic organizations. Nicholas loves everything flying and is working towards his private pilot’s license. He would like to major in Aerospace Engineering in college and eventually become an astronaut.



Catarina
Catarina Chelius
Co-Founder

Catarina Chelius attends Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset, NY. She plays soccer and lacrosse and loves volunteering. Catarina would like to study biology in college and eventually become a doctor.



Jennifer
Jennifer Donatelli
Public Relations and Events

Ms. Donatelli is a former network television producer and brings over 20 years of public relations, event planning and social media management to Books for Babies. Ms. Donatelli resides in Huntington with her husband Jason and their two sons.



Dena
Dena Williams
Business Development and Events

Ms. Williams is a former elementary school teacher, caterer and restaurant owner. She brings her knowledge of business and event planning to help coordinate and plan Books for Babies events as well as new business development. Ms. Williams resides in Northport with her husband Peter and their five children.

Donations

If you are not near any of the drop off locations on the map below, email us at booksforbabies@yahoo.com or call us at (631) 241-1225. Monetary donations (cash or check payable to Books for Babies) are also accepted and can be mailed to Books for Babies 2 Casey Ct. Huntington, NY 11743.


- Click here to establish a donation site near you.

- Click here to join our mailing list.



Literacy Facts



- Every year there are four million babies born in the United States. 15 million of those babies (21%) will be born into families with incomes below the poverty threshold.
- 14 percent of people in the United States are illiterate
- 63% of people in prison are illiterate
- 93% of adults in the United States read at or below the basic level needed to contribute successfully to society
- A child’s early vocabulary skills are linked to their economic background
- Reading to babies builds listening, memory, motivation, curiosity and focus
- Introduces surreal fantasies while developing a sense of imagination
- The greatest amount of brain growth occurs between birth and age five. By age three, 85% of the brain structures are formed.
- Reading to babies encourages speech and language development
- Babies exposed to reading will perform better in school

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