Planning for Growth - Driven Change
Janet Roth started Look. It’s My Book! in 2008 to give books to students in District 150 elementary schools because studies show that a child’s reading skills and school performance improve if there are books in the home. Because 70% of the children in District 150 are living in poverty, many homes do not have a single book for children in the home.
Look. It’s My Book! started small. In 2008, they gave a book to each student in grades K-4 in one school six times in the year. By 2010, they were serving five schools. In 2013, they are serving 12 schools and will distribute 30,000 books during the school year.
In 2011, Janet began to be uncomfortable with operating the nonprofit in this environment of staggering growth. She began to wonder whether they had the right processes, structures, goals, board members and other aspects of the nonprofit organization – she knew that methods that worked well for a small group could crumble as the group expanded.
So Janet contacted SCORE Peoria for help. Beginning in January 2012, two mentors worked with her, her board and key volunteers to assess their organization, set goals and establish plans for improvements needed to support the organization’s growth and keep it operating effectively.
Look. It’s My Book! distributes books six times a year to all K-4 students in 12 (of the 13) grade schools in District 150 as of September 2013, and hopes to add the 13th school as soon as possible.
Janet said, “SCORE Peoria was very helpful. Without their help, I believe that Look. It’s My Book! would have not been able to grow the number of students and District 150 schools that we serve beyond where we were in 2011. We now have goals and a plan, which we are executing, to help us operate effectively as we grow to serve all 13 elementary schools in District 150… and beyond.”