Born to Read is the signature project of the Rotary Club of Traverse Bay Sunrise (Born to Read was previously the signature project of the Rotary Club of Traverse Bay Twilight until it merged with Sunrise). Our mission is to promote early literacy by spreading the word about the importance of reading, talking, and singing with children everyday starting at birth – and even during pregnancy.

Born to Read is an all volunteer effort, made possible by working closely with collaborating partners, including: the Traverse Area District Library, Healthy Futures at Munson Medical Center, the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District’s Early Childhood programs, Great Start and 5toOne, and the Everybody Reads Network/Read to Me collaborative, as well as other community organizations who share our mission.


Thanks to our partners, Born to Read is an all volunteer project.
Since 2010, the Rotary Club of Traverse Bay Twilight has collaborated with:

Delivers introductory Born to Read post card with tips for reading with babies to expectant parents in last trimester visit, followed by Welcome Baby packet with free book to parents of newborns. Healthy Futures also sends texts with age appropriate developmental information to parents of children birth to five.

> Learn more Learn more

Provides tote bag with free book to new parents and to families with children birth to three participating in the library’s summer reading program. Also offers weekly texts with early literacy tips and fun activities to parents of children birth to three. TADL hosts Born to Read training workshops, meetings, and other activities.

> Learn more Learn more

Contributes expertise and programs that support parents of young children and provides written materials, translation, and training to help achieve Born to Read goals.

> Learn more Learn more

Provides close to home neighborhood centers with play groups and other activities for families with young children. 5toOne works closely with Born to Read to provide literacy information, books, and volunteers to encourage reading with children right from the start. 

> Learn more Learn more

National campaign that brings partners together to spread the word that reading aloud is the single most important activity that parents can do to prepare their child for success in school and life.  Read Aloud provides Born to Read with campaign materials, statistics, and outreach strategies.

> Learn more Learn more


As our work expands, other organizations and groups are joining us in reaching out to the community with our message, including:

  • Power Bookbags
  • Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
  • Central Lake Early Childhood Project
  • Traverse Area Public Schools
  • Leelanau and Grand Traverse Counties Family Coordinating Council
  • Leelanau Christian Neighbors
  • West Bay Baby Pantry
  • Grand Traverse Baby Pantry
  • Migrant Head Start


While we are an all-volunteer project, we do have expenses – books, printing, supplies, training, website development – to a name a few. Fortunately our community has been most generous in supporting our work.

We are grateful for the financial contributions provided by:

  • United Way of Northwest Michigan
  • 100 Women Who Care
  • Grand Traverse Area Community Foundation Youth Endowment
  • Friends of the Traverse Area District Library
  • Members of the Rotary Club of Traverse Bay Twilight

In addition, the following businesses provide in-kind contributions that help keep our expenses down:

  • Cherry Capital Foods - warehouse space for book storage
  • Grand Traverse Pie – coupons for a free slice of pie for new parents
  • Beth Price Photography – discounted photographic services
  • Red Letter Design – graphic design at reduced rate
  • SNAP Printing – discounted printing services
  • TJ Maxx
Rotary Club of Traverse Bay
Twilight Foundation

When Born to Read started in 2010, our Rotary Club didn’t have a mechanism for applying for grants or receiving tax-deductible contributions in support of our work. To purchase books and supplies, we collected money in exchange for bookmarks in front of grocery stores and raised funds from our members. It soon became apparent that if we wanted the program to be successful and sustained over time, we needed to access sources of funds beyond our small Club.  

In 2015, Club members incorporated the Rotary Club of Traverse Bay Twilight Foundation as a vehicle for financially supporting our literacy projects. In 2016, we began seeking grants and tax-deductible contributions to raise funds needed for Born to Read. Since October of 2016, the Foundation has raised over $28,000, allowing expansion and enhancement of our efforts.  We have also received generous in-kind contributions from community organizations and businesses that support our mission.

Your tax-deductible donations in support of Born to Read are gratefully accepted.