Helping students who face the toughest barriers

Since our founding

4 million

books distributed

1 million

children served

We want to close the literacy opportunity gap that too often leaves children in communities of concentrated low income behind.

Many of us were lucky enough to grow up without worrying about finding our next book to read, and Page Ahead believes that feeling of security, inspiration, and opportunity should be available to every child.

Having access to books as a child is the foremost predictor of future academic advancement, even controlling for parental income and education level. Literacy can help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, which affects families of color disproportionately. Books are some of the most important tools we have in the fight for economic equity and racial justice.

To further explore the intersection of children’s books and equity, check out We Need Diverse Books’ resources for race, equity, anti-racism, and inclusion.

The simplicity of the program is wonderful. Students get 100% access with as close to zero barriers as is possible. Everyone is included and the books they get to choose from are titles/series they really covet.

—first grade teacher, Rising Star Elementary, Seattle

These are books we wanted at the [school] book fair but could not afford. They had to do with his interests . . . perfect!!!

—parent of a kindergartner, Liberty Elementary, Marysville

The Book Up summer program is amazing. While volunteering to help kids pick out their books, I have seen their faces change from slightly confused thinking it is another book fair and they don't have money, to realizing they get to pick out and keep the books, for free!

—parent and volunteer, Kendall Elementary, Whatcom County

I love this program! Sending books home to children with the ability to help them tell their family the stories is amazing.

—preschool teacher, Rural Resources Community Action Head Start, Newport

Children are asking deeper questions. You can see the little wheels in their heads turning more. We get more exciting, meaningful questions. They are more confident when reading aloud or with friends.

—Head Start preschool teacher


What began as Books for Kids is still about books for kids

Books for Kids was founded by six friends as a book drive to encourage the love of reading and literacy. As they reached out into communities, it became evident that there was a need for an entity to coordinate with schools and libraries across the Puget Sound region. Books for Kids transformed from a one-time book drive into a new, all-volunteer nonprofit organization focused on getting books into the hands of kids who live in historically marginalized communities and lacked access to reading materials.

In 2001, Books for Kids became Page Ahead. We expanded our mission from a book give-away to a comprehensive literacy program, including workshops and classroom story times. In 2012, we piloted Book Up Summer for K–2 students; in 2015 we launched Story Leaders for preschoolers. Across more than three decades, we have been steadfast in our mission to promote literacy and learning through reading and to increase access to books for children in disadvantaged communities across the state.


Books for Kids is founded by six friends as a book drive project to encourage the love of reading and literacy.


Books for Kids becomes a nonprofit organization.


Keltie Wright is hired to be the organization’s first executive director.


Books for Kids changes its name Page Ahead and expands to become a comprehensive literacy program.


Page Ahead is recognized by the Municipal League of King County for outstanding contributions to the public good and received congratulations from Senator Patty Murray. In June, Governor Gary Locke proclaims the month to be “Page Ahead’s Millionth Book Month” in recognition of our distribution of our one-millionth book.


Page Ahead receives the King County Library System’s Literary Lions award.


Page Ahead receives KCTS’s Golden Apple award for excellence in education.


Page Ahead receives the Evergreen Award from Executive Alliance.


Governor Christine Gregoire proclaims “Page Ahead Day” on January 31 in advance of our two-millionth book distribution in March.


Page Ahead receives the Afterschool Hall of Fame award from Lights On Afterschool for leadership in advancing the field of afterschool in Washington.


Book Up Summer, a book-fair based summer reading program, is piloted in 12 Seattle-area elementary schools. Book Up Summer now distributes more than 250,000 books to more than 20,000 students every year.


Story Leaders, a reading intervention program designed to rapidly develop vocabulary and language skills for preschoolers, is launched. Story Leaders now serves more than 1,000 children at more than a dozen preschool sites.


Page Ahead gives away our three-millionth book.


Governor Jay Inslee recognizes Page Ahead’s many years of contributions to literacy in Washington state on September 8, International Literacy Day.


In response to COVID-19 shutdowns, Page Ahead launches Book Oasis and installs custom-built Little Free Libraries for kids’ books in book desert neighborhoods across Seattle.


Page Ahead is awarded a 2021 Library of Congress State Literacy Award for outstanding contributions to promoting literacy and reading in Washington.


Page Ahead distributes our four-millionth book during Book Up Summer at Concord International Elementary in West Seattle.

Meet our team

Susan Dibble

Susan Dibble

Executive Director

Susan has been at the helm of Page Ahead since 2006. Prior to joining our team she worked at the Muscular Dystrophy Association where she directed the King County Chapter in researching causes and cures for neuromuscular diseases. Originally from Eastern Washington, she holds a bachelor’s in communications from the University of Calgary in Alberta.

Favorite Book

Susan’s favorite children’s book series is the Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner.

Lisa Ceniceros

Lisa Ceniceros

Literacy Programs Manager

Prior to joining the Page Ahead team in 2020, Lisa worked as an elementary school librarian and computer lab teacher. She also worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA Ames Research Center where she helped engineer the test vehicle of the 2003 Mars rovers. Lisa has a BS in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Washington, and she is a member of the Snohomish Tribe of Indians, where she serves as tribal treasurer.

Favorite Book

When she was a child, Lisa enjoyed reading the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace, and she especially enjoyed how the adventures and friendships grew with the characters as they grew up in the books.


Laura Le

Community Outreach Specialist

Laura joined Page Ahead in 2024 after spending two years working in an administrative role at an eating disorder recovery facility. She has a bachelor’s degree from Scripps College in Claremont, CA in chemistry, but found that nonprofit work was her true passion. She has loved reading from a young age and has always found her niche in working with organizations and companies that serve her community. Laura is excited to help bring the joy of reading to young readers all over the region.

Favorite Book

Her favorite book as a child was “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle and received a copy from Page Ahead’s Books for Kids program when she was in elementary school. She loves the messaging about love, family, and how it’s perfectly okay to be a little different than everyone else.

Meet our board

Passionate about children’s literacy, the Page Ahead board sets the vision for Page Ahead and ensures that we are fulfilling our promise to the community. Board members scan the horizon for new opportunities and act as ambassadors for Page Ahead in the community.

Mark Fitzgerald


Mark Fitzgerald

Effectus Group (2019)

Arden Leland

Vice President

Arden Leland

AuditBoard (2020)

Briony Pentecost


Briony Pentecost

Banner Bank (2020)



Suann Harris

Northwest Farm Credit Services (2021)

Cathy Peterman

Past President

Cathy Peterman

Wayfair (2018)

Members at large

Megan Wells

Board Member

Megan Wells

Ankura (2018)

Molly Powell

Board Member

Molly Powell

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2018)

Kirsten Scheide

Board Member

Kirsten Scheide

Boeing (2019)

Teresa Osborn

Board Member

Teresa Osborn

University of Washington School of Pharmacy (2022)

Ying Zhao

Board Member

Ying Zhao

EY (2022)


Board Member

Kartik Kanakasabesan

Atlassian (2023)


Board Member

Rudmila Rahman

Amazon (2023)

Interested in serving on the board?

Please review the Page Ahead Board of Directors job description (PDF). The average monthly commitment is four to six hours. To be considered for board service, please complete this application.


Find out more about other volunteer opportunities at Page Ahead, including working with kids, office support, committee service, and more.


Click here to read press coverage of Page Ahead’s work, including efforts about how we continued to fulfill our mission, despite the widespread shutdowns and continuing pandemic challenges of the past few years.