In 1993 PARADE magazine printed an article that featured a Student-Run Bookstore in the Bronx, New York. This innovative program served to put new children’s books into the hands and homes of disadvantaged children at a low cost, while at the same time affording “student workers” the opportunity to gather real-world work experience. The founder of this program, Reading teacher Robin Cohen, operated the Student-Run Bookstore program for 14 years and found it to be among the most rewarding experiences of her career. The PARADE article inspired thousands of teachers across the country to contact Robin and inquire about opening a Student-Run Bookstore of their own. Robin’s son, Jess Cohen, gathered the letters and approached publishers about purchasing books for the sole purpose of helping schools open and run Student-Run Bookstores. Shortly after, Schoolwide, Inc. was born.
For the first five years of our existence, Schoolwide exclusively opened and supplied books to Student-Run Bookstores. However, driven by a desire to support teaching and learning, Schoolwide has expanded greatly over the last two decades to become a leading provider of literacy consulting services for administrators, specialists, and classroom teachers; high-quality, research-based, and proprietary print and digital curriculum resources; and books and classroom libraries.