About Share Literacy

Share Literacy is an initiative of The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge (ISHK), a respected nonprofit educational organization promoting under-represented opportunities for education and development for more than 35 years.
Our Directors
Annual Reports

ISHK is a 501(c)3 educational corporation, incorporated in the State of California. Federal Tax ID #94-1705600.



In the course of a program, children receive their very own copy of at least two books which they're also reading in school. For these children, many of whom have never owned a book, this can be a seminal experience that changes their lifelong attitude towards reading and literature.

The books, most available in Spanish/English bilingual editions, are based on traditional Teaching-Stories with universal themes such as overcoming difficulties, building self-esteem, and finding peaceful solutions. The stories are designed to help children develop analogical, contextual, and critical thinking. They foster perception and intuition, promote social-emotional development, and encourage empathy, negotiation and cooperation.

Some programs provide Home Literacy Kits for each child in the classroom to take home. These kits include audio CDs available with both English and Spanish readings of the story, read with and without page-turn signals, and are designed to encourage parents and children to read along together to help foster independent reading. A special Read Together newsletter is also included in English, Spanish or both languages and provides helpful information for parents about the importance of reading at home and suggests fun activities that promote literacy and explore dimensions of the story in everyday life.


The Hoopoe Early Childhood Literacy Curriculum is a literature-based supplemental curriculum specifically designed to help teachers meet and measure mandated instructional goals and objectives. For each of the books introduced, our experienced educators provide professional development workshops and curricula for all participating teachers.

In these workshops, teachers learn how best to use these stories in their classrooms. They learn best-practice strategies that encourage children to develop their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. In addition, teachers learn how to encourage higher-level thinking skills such as making analogies—skills that are critical for school success.

Importantly, teachers learn how to develop positive home-school connections which encourage families to become the most vital part of their children's education and be able to inspire their children to achieve their potential.


Evaluation is a critical component of successful educational programs. Evaluations help to determine whether a program has achieved its stated goals and objectives and provide feedback to program developers, leading to refinements and improvements in future programs. (Click here for more details on our Evaluation process.)


Access Books, Los Angeles
This program received Hoopoe books for distribution to students in schools in the greater Los Angeles area with at least 90% of their population at or below the poverty line. Letter from Access books (369 KB pdf)

ACEE, University of Texas at Austin
In 2006, Bob Rogers, a volunteer for The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge's Hoopoe Books Share Literacy program, received an $800 grant from a local Wal-Mart store to provide new books to 284 children who were receiving tutoring from ACEE members. The ACEE (AmeriCorps for Community Engagement and Education) mission is to ensure that all children develop a strong foundation in early literacy skills during their first years in school.

Alameda County Office of Education, Berkeley Even Start
In August and October 2006, the Berkeley (CA) Even Start program received teacher training and home literacy kits for two Hoopoe books. ACOE/Berkeley Even Start director Martha Martinez wrote that the families in the program "are very pleased and thankful for having educational materials at their homes which otherwise they could not afford." (To read her letter in entirety, click here (756 KB pdf).) The Even Start program serves low-income, low-literacy, and non-English proficiency families in the Berkeley area. Their main goal is to break the cycle of poverty by providing educational opportunities and materials such as Hoopoe Books' Learning That Lasts program.

Albany (CA) Unified School District - Albany Children's Center
The Center's teachers received training and materials for two Hoopoe books, and two Home Literacy kits were given to the 120 preschool children who participate in their full day program for preschool children ages 2.9 to 5 years. Click here for the letter (16 KB pdf).

Alum Rock Union Elementary School District, San Jose, CA
Since 2007, we have provided children in this school district with books of their own and teachers and school libraries have received books for instruction.

¡ASISTA!, Washington State
The Association for Support of Indigenous Schools Throughout the Americas (¡ASISTA!) acquired books at cost from Hoopoe Books, which were donated to parents of children from a preschool in the Mexican-American community of the town of Granger, Washington State.

Berkeley-Albany (CA) YMCA Head Start
Hoopoe Books provided training and materials to over 20 teachers of this Head Start program in the Berkeley CA area. This program serves over 200 children who each received two home literacy kits. Pamm Shaw, the Executive Director, writes "The Hoopoe Project comes at a critical time when more and more research points to the crucial role of reading to young children...Many of the families we work with do not have reading materials around their homes, so providing books for children to take home is an important factor." To read more of her letter click here (612 KB pdf).

Berkeley Unified School District Preschool Program
Hoopoe trained early educators in the district on using Hoopoe Books in the classroom and provided activity guides and material to go with the program. In addition, Hoopoe provided two home literacy kits to each of more than 120 children participating in the program. Click here for the letter.

Early Childhood Institute of Mississippi State University
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck, 7,400 free Hoopoe books were provided for children in hurricane disaster-relief shelters. "We can take as many books as possible," wrote ECI/MSU Director of State Initiatives Laurie Todd. "We don't know the exact number of children in need, but we do know that over 300 centers were claimed as disaster areas, and that involves more than 22,000 children."

First Book, San Antonio, Texas Chapter
The San Antonio chapter of this national nonprofit with the single mission of giving children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books received a donation of 7,000 Spanish-English bilingual editions of Hoopoe books. More about the Witte Museum book giveaway (96 KB pdf)

Fischler Graduate School of Education and Human Services,
North Miami Beach, Florida
Two Spanish-English bilingual Hoopoe editions were selected by one of the nation's largest teacher graduate-education programs to train Head Start and public school first-grade teachers. The books were being distributed to children in Head Start centers.Letter from Fischler Graduate School (92 KB pdf)

Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport, CT
More than 40 teachers from 18 Connecticut preschools serving over 600 preschoolers attended workshops at Housatonic, where they learn the most effective ways to use these stories with preschool children to promote literacy and thinking skills. The workshop series took place over a four-month period, with each workshop devoted to a different Hoopoe title.Letter from Director of HCC Early Childhood Lab School.

Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland, Ohio
The Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland Community Action Commission received Hoopoe books for their Head Start program. They are a private, nonprofit, social service organization whose primary goal is to identify and address community needs, with the basic focus being to reduce poverty-related adversities. The Coshocton Tribune article (164 KB pdf), More about their experience with the Share Literacy Program (264 KB pdf)

Learning Leaders, New York City
The largest school-volunteer program in the U.S. received a donation of 3,550 Hoopoe books. Letter from Learning Leaders (228 KB pdf)

Literacy Caravan, Connecticut
Literacy Caravan is a mobile van staffed by early-childhood specialists who visit low-income pre-and elementary schools to show parents and teachers how to introduce children to books and reading. This program received a donation of 2,000 Hoopoe books and 80 teacher manuals. Letter from Literacy Caravan (684 KB pdf)

Loudoun Literacy Council Head Start Programs, Leesburg, VA
This organization has received books for children in their Head Start programs for several years, including 2014.

Mercy Housing, California
Hoopoe Books held three workshops for trainers and coordinators in the Mercy Housing California education program. In addition, we provided teacher activity guides, lesson plans and ancillary materials for 53 instructors. The curriculum covered 3 Hoopoe books for 4 age groups, serving children of ages 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 and 13-17. Home Literacy Kits were given to all the young people who attend after-school programs at Mercy's 48 properties in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Sacramento. To read about Mercy in a letter from their director, Tonja Boykin click here (112 KB pdf).

National Urban Alliance/Indianapolis Public Schools
15,000 books were distributed to children in 55 Indianapolis Title I elementary schools. The NUA included a packet for classroom teachers, with information about Afghanistan, a map of the country, and a teacher's manual for the books. Read more about this project (324 KB pdf)

Ravenswood School District, East Palo Alto, CA
This school district received books in early 2016 for K-3 grades. The East Palo Alto Kids Foundation helped to facilitate this gift. The administrator of Ravenswood oversaw the distribution, and sent us many photos of the kids enjoying their books.

The Reading Connection, Virginia
The Mid-Atlantic chapter of Share Literacy donated Hoopoe books to The Reading Connection, which operates 13 homeless shelters and transitional housing sites in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. TRC was founded in 1989 by a group of educators as a service project of the Greater Washington Reading Council. Its mission is to share a passion for books and reading with children living in housing crisis.

R.E.A.D.Y., Michigan Department of Education
The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water was chosen as part of the statewide R.E.A.D.Y. (Read, Educate and Develop Youth) program designed to make sure children have the necessary pre-reading skills (language, vocabulary, alphabet) by the time they enter school. R.E.A.D.Y. was part of an award-winning and innovative reading plan launched in 1998 by Michigan governor John Engler to help every student in the state read by the end of third grade.

Ridgecrest Elementary School, Hyattsville, MD
In early 2016, this school received books through the auspices of the DC Share Chapter.

Roscoe Nix Elementary School, Silver Spring, MD
In early 2016, this school received books through the auspices of the DC Share Chapter.

Rosemount Center, Washington D.C.
This nonprofit education center was established in 1972 and provides Early Head Start programs for toddlers and preschoolers. Both the toddler and preschool programs are taught through a bilingual curriculum. Share Literacy provided the school with a curriculum guide and 157 Home Literacy Kits for the children. Read more: The Afro American Newspapers (132 KB pdf), El Tiempo Latino (1 MB pdf in spanish), and The Washington Post (108 KB pdf).

Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators
Share Literacy donated books to SCBWI to help children displaced by hurricane Katrina. Thank you from SCBWI

St. Joseph The Worker School, Berkeley
Hoopoe provided early educators in this program with two workshop trainings on using Hoopoe books in the classroom, plus activity guides and material to go with the program. In addition, Hoopoe provided two Home Literacy Kits to 30 families participating in the program. The St. Josephs program served PreK-1, 1-2 and 3-5 grades in the Berkeley area. Click here for the letter.

Virginia Head Start Association
Hoopoe books and other materials have been provided at cost to the Higher Horizons Daycare Center, a Head Start program in Falls Church, where they were enjoyed by at least 240 preschoolers per year.  The DC Share Chapter has facilitated these donations.


Annual Reports

For the 2016 Share Literacy Annual Report, click here.

For the 2016 ISHK Annual Report, click here.

For the 2015 Share Literacy Annual Report, click here.

For the 2015 ISHK Annual Report, click here.

For the 2014 Share Literacy Annual Report, click here.

For the 2014 ISHK Annual Report, click here.

Share Literacy Board of Directors

Denise Nessel, Chairman
Denise Nessel, Ph.D., is a Consultant and Director of Publications with the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education. An educational consultant who conducts workshops and seminars on effective teaching, she is the author of ten methods books for teachers, numerous articles on literacy practices, and the editor of the education-oriented books Awakening Young Minds and From Dubs to Marbles.

Denise Nessel

Sally Mallam, Executive Director
Sally Mallam spent 15 years in international business and publishing prior to joining ISHK in 1983 as Administrative Director. In 1996 she initiated the ISHK publishing imprints Malor and Hoopoe Books, and the subsequent development of ISHK's literacy outreach four years later. She is also an artist who has exhibited in the U.S. and Britain.

Sally Mallam

Shane DeHaven, Secretary
Shane DeHaven has been Office and Administrative Manager and member of the Board of Directors of ISHK for more than 23 years. Her background includes management consulting, librarianship, and serving as Chairman and educational advisor at a private preschool in Northern California.

Shane DeHaven

Robert Ornstein
Robert Ornstein, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned psychologist and author who has written more than 20 books on the brain, mind and health, among them The Psychology of Consciousness, The Roots of the Self and The Right Mind. Considered one of the foremost experts on the brain, he has taught at Stanford University, Harvard University and UCSF.

Robert Ornstein

David Sobel
David Sobel, M.D., M.P.H., is a practicing physician and regional Director of Patient Education and Health Promotion for the Kaiser Permanente Northern California. He has written seven books, including The Healing Brain, Healthy Pleasures and Mind & Body Health Handbook.

David Sobel
Rev May16



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