Cleveland Schools Book Fund

About Us


Eric S. Gordon, Chair
CEO, Cleveland Metropolitan School District




Marla Bell
Director, Family Services
West Side Community House, Cleveland




Lisa Lenhart
Interim Director, School of Education
University of Akron




Julie Rehm
Vice President for University Advancement
Executive Director of the CSU Foundation



Ann K. Mullin
Senior Program Officer
George Gund Foundation




Koyen Shah
Associate Director of College Counseling
Founding Director, The Aspire Program
Hathaway Brown




Roland Anglin
Dean, College of Education and Public Affairs




Stephen Morris, Emeritus
Founder, Cleveland Schools Book Fund

Cleveland Schools Book Fund History

The Cleveland Schools Book Fund is an endowed program committed to placing high quality, hardback fiction books in each and every Pre K-Grade 4 classroom in Cleveland Metropolitan Schools and affiliated charters. In addition, the book fund provides opportunities for teacher professional development, enrichment through author visits and an opportunity for families to build a home library through the web activities. The founder, Stephen Morris, talked with teachers and repeatedly heard that there were insufficient good books available in the classroom. He and his colleague “investors” decided to change that! This means that no Pre-k-Grade 4 classroom in CMSD need ever be short on high-quality books! The Cleveland Schools Book Fund is administered through a partnership between CMSD and CSU.

Classroom Collections

Each Pre k–grade 4 classroom can receive a collection of 150 hardback books. A professionally selected collection of brand new, library quality books has been identified for each grade level. The collection supports social emotional learning through literature emphasizing character strengths such as friendship, courage, respect, and perseverance. The collection also focuses on diverse characters, diverse cultures, showcasing multicultural authors and award winners. A wooden display bookcase can also be delivered through the book fund.

CSBF Educators Collaborative

Every PreK- Grade 4 educator in CMSD is invited to participate in the voluntary professional learning offered through the Cleveland Schools Book Fund. Dinner, materials and lesson ideas emphasizing the Book Fund collection are a regular part of the sessions.

Home Library Building

Research shows that a print-rich home supports student success in the classroom. The Cleveland Schools Book Fund is prepared to support student success both in the classroom and at home. Students can get a paperback version of the collection book through the home library building process.

Author Visits

Occasionally the Cleveland Schools Book Fund is able to sponsor an author presentations in schools and classroom. These are at specified times and by arrangement.


For more info or to make a request contact Dr. Sharon Brown.

How it Happens: Behind the Scenes