About Our Outreach Programs

Kids and Hoopoe books collage

Thinking Children Become Thinking Adults

With the help of volunteers and donors, we are able to print and distribute millions of beautifully illustrated traditional Teaching-Stories by Idries Shah to underserved children, currently through four donation programs: Share Literacy, Books for Afghanistan, Books for Pakistan and Books for Refugees.
“The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print”  —Newman, Sanford, et all. “American’s Child Care Crisis: A Crime Prevention Tragedy”; Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2000
Did you know … * 61% of children in the U.S. who live in poverty have no books in their homes. * One in three U.S. children enters kindergarten lacking basic pre-reading skills. * By age three, children living in poverty have heard 30 million fewer words than their peers who do not live in poverty. * Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. * The only behavioral measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home. The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions, 1998. We are helping to change this!
Since 2000 our Share Literacy program has donated over 700,000 books to underserved children in the US, Mexico, and Guatemala.
For more visit: Additionally our associates The Institute for Cross-cultural Education have donated a further 134,540 Hoopoe books to underserved children in Canada and Mexico. The U.S. National Center for Family Literacy studies have shown that being read to as a child and having books in the home are the two most important indicators of future academic success. We felt sure that this would apply in Afghanistan, Pakistan and across the world. In May 2012, a study that confirmed this was quoted in The New York Times, it involved 70,000 students from 27 countries, and revealed that having books in the home was as good a predictor of children’s educational attainment as parents’ education levels. In fact, access to books was more predictive than the father’s occupation or the family’s standard of living. The greatest impact of book access was seen among the least educated and poorest families. (Citation: Evans, M.; Kelley, J.; Sikora, J; and Treiman, D. 2010. Family scholarly culture and educational success: Books and schooling in 27 nations. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. Volume 28, Issue 2, June 2010, 171–197.)
According to a UNESCO Press International Report “the picture of illiteracy in Pakistan is grim, and especially alarming in rural areas due to social and cultural obstacles. … One of the most deplorable aspects is that in some places, particularly northern tribal areas, the education of girls is strictly prohibited on religious grounds. This is a gross misinterpretation of Islam, the dominant religion in Pakistan (96 percent of the population), which urges both men and women to acquire an education. They report that the situation is the most critical in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Baluchistan, where the female literacy rate stands between 3 per cent and 8 per cent. We are helping to change this!
Kids in Pakistan with Hoopoe books
Girls in Pakistan with Hoopoe books
Group of girls in Pakistan in Pakistan with Hoopoe books
The foundations for literacy are laid in the language that infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children hear every day, which is why Hoopoe aims to provide books in underserved children’s mother tongues. Thanks to our partnership with Alif Laila Book Bus Society we have already sent thousands of Urdu-Pashto books to children in the camps for internally displaced families and in schools in Peshawar, the capital of KPK. An Urdu-Baluchi edition of these titles has been printed and distributed in Baluchistan. We also have also distributed thousands of Urdu-English editions to underserved schoolchildren in the Lahore region, as well as Urdu-Sindhi editions for those children who speak Sindhi. For more visit Only through education will things begin to change and literacy is the beginning. Hoopoe stories entertain and inspire children and foster a lifelong love of reading and learning.
Kids gathered around a reading of Neem the Half-Boy
Girl looking at the German-Dari edition of The Magic Horse

Hoopoe publishes universal stories from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan in bilingual editions, pairing the reader’s mother tongue with the Western language they will need for their future. These beautiful, illustrated books are ideal for both school-age children and ESL classes.

We would like to reach many more refugee camps and community centers, where families forced to leave their homeland are stranded, not only in the English-speaking world, but in Europe and the Middle East — these children are without storybooks in their own languages and from their own culture. Too many children are missing months, even years of school at a time when a love of reading and learning can mean so much for their lives. For more information visit:

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Help Hoopoe’s Programs at No Cost to You!

You can do that anytime you make an online purchase from Amazon, just by using the AmazonSmile program. Simply make all of your Amazon purchases at (which is still Amazon, with the very same products and prices) instead of – to do this, simply click this link to set your Amazon account up so that the Hoopoe Share Literacy Fund is the recipient charity (Hoopoe Books is an HSLF program). From then on, AmazonSmile will remember to automatically donate 0.5% of your eligible Amazon purchases to HSLF, at no extra cost to you!

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