Seedlings Braille Books for Children

Seedlings' Mission Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy and education by providing high quality, free and low cost braille books for children. Seedlings' History In 1984 when Debra Bonde founded Seedlings, braille materials were scarce and expensive. Her goals were to increase the availability and lower the cost of braille books for children in order to promote their literacy skills and the love of reading. In 1985, the first year of book production, Debra made 221 books in her basement office. By 1990, Seedlings was producing 5,000 books per year, which precipitated its move out of Debra's basement and into the Bentley Center in Livonia, Michigan, and eventually to our present location on Farmington Road in Livonia. In 2023, with a small staff, and a group of loyal volunteers, Seedlings produced over 48,000 braille books and articles (68% of which were given away for free), with a grand total of 730,000 since 1984, equalling millions of pages of braille! For more information, see Seedlings' 2023 Annual Report and Seedlings' 2023 Audit. In 1994, Seedlings added The Rose Project, which provides free encyclopedia articles in braille for student's projects and reports. Since that time, we have added several other giveaway programs in our quest to fill the existing braille book desert with thousands of wonderful books for children with vision loss. In 2022, over 23,000 books were given away for free and the rest were made available for an average of only $10 each! For more information on Seedlings' Giveaway Programs, see our Special Programs page. Seedlings' Books Photo of a child's hands on a braille bookSeedlings' braille materials have opened up new worlds for thousands of children. Seedlings Braille Books for Children is keeping visually impaired children in the mainstream of popular literature and is reaching braille readers in all 50 states and over 75 foreign countries. Seedlings contributes to literacy by providing children with vision loss equal opportunity to develop the love of reading. Braille books are provided at each level of development, from toddler board books to classic literature for older children. Just as sighted children learn to read as they are exposed to the printed word, so do visually impaired children who are exposed to the tactile page at an early age. New titles are added every year as highly skilled volunteer braille transcribers spend countless donated hours translating print books into braille and preparing them for future production. Once the original translation is complete, additional books can be printed as needed. Exposure to popular, high quality braille literature throughout childhood increases the likelihood of children developing into able braille readers.