Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Cool Little Free Library

This Little Free Library has a quote by Maria printed on the glass! 

“Books take you places that you could never go to on your own.” 
- Maria Keller, Founder Read Indeed

How cool is that? Thanks to the Vandeputte family for installing this little gem. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Book Drive Begins June 16

On June 16 Read Indeed's annual summer book drive begins!! Clean off those bookshelves, bring 25 gently used kids’ books to any BMO Harris Bank in the Twin Cities, and get a pass to the Waterpark of America

How cool is that? You get to declutter, help underprivileged kids, AND visit a fantastic water park for FREE! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Web Site

Maria has moved her blog to her new web site:!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Maria & Read Indeed on Television Yesterday!

I was interviewed on Showcase Minnesota yesterday about Read Indeed and the book drive that M&I Bank and Waterpark of America are doing. I was really nervous! You can see it here:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Read Indeed Makes Headlines Again

Books play an important roll in helping kids learn and teaching them about the world they live it. It's never to early for kids to have a book. Unfortunately, there are many kids who don't have the opportunity to have their own books, and we're hoping you'll help us change that.

This summer, KARE 11 is collecting books for Read Indeed. Read Indeed is a local literacy initiative. It is the vision of Maria, a book-loving 3rd grader who wants to make the world a better place-one book at a time. Maria's goal is to collect and distribute 1,000,000 books to needy children by the time she's 18. We hope that this summer she'll get much closer to her goal.
Throughout June and July, bring your donation of new and gently used children's books to any M&I Bank location. As an added incentive, for every 20 books you donate (or $20 cash donation) you will receive a free pass to the Water Park of America.*
Help share the gift of reading this summer by donating a book to a child in need.
*Offer limited to donations made at M&I Twin Cities locations,
including Hudson and Prescott, WI through July 31, 2009. Limit
of two per household, while supplies last. Each voucher is valued
at $25.
(Copyright 2009 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Read Indeed's Radio Debut

Today, May 4, Read Indeed was featured on Cities97 with BT and Lee Valsvik! They were great in helping get the word out about Maria's program!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Huge Donation

Great news! The Child's World, a publishing company in Mankato has offered Maria 30,000 books for Read Indeed. We are trying to arrange the pickup and delivery of the books by a trucking company who would offer their services. If you know of anyone who would be willing to donate this service, please let us know!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Article from KARE 11 Story on Maria

take KARE of your FAMILY
Plymouth girl works to change one million lives
Updated: 3/30/2009 3:30:10 PM

According to the National Commission on Reading, the single most important factor influencing a child's early educational success is being introduced to books at home before beginning school.

A Plymouth girl who has loved reading all her life is working hard to get stories into the hands of kids who've never had books of their own.

Maria Keller loves sharing a good story.

"Little pig, little pig, let me in," Maria said while reading aloud from a children's book.

She loves sharing with her little brother Ryan and children who've never heard about the Little Pigs' happy ending.

Maria's hoping to share...with a whole lot of those children.

"The program is called Read Indeed," Maria's mom Maura Keller said.

Read Indeed is eight-year-old Maria's big idea to bring books to little readers all over the world.

"She just came up with this number that I want to do a million books. And at first she said a million books and I took a gasp. And then she said by the time I'm 18, which is almost nine years from now." Maura said.

One million books by the time Maria turns 18.

"It's a huge goal," Maura added.

It's a huge goal that's starting to get an equally-huge response.

"My dining room's going to be taken over by books for the next nine years. But I'm ok with that," Maura said smiling.

Stacks and stacks of only the sturdiest books. Even with lofty goal of a million stories, Maria's still got high standards.

"The spine might be breaking. We don't want that. We want it to last a while," Maria said. "We've got about 5,000 to 6,000 now."

Some books have already hand-delivered to a thankful staff at St. Joseph's Home for Children in Minneapolis.

"They said thank you and they liked it. Made me feel pretty good," Maria said.

Others will soon go Native American kids living on a Nebraska reservation.

"She's giving them something that they can call their own. And there are so many children that she has been told who have never literally owned a book in their entire life," Maura said.

If Maria's story ends as planned, nine years from now there will be one million more kids who've heard a story with a happy ending.

Maria and her family would like thank everyone who's already contributed to the effort. You can find out more about helping with the collection and follow Maria's book count by going to her web page. Click here to go to Read Indeed.

Books for Kids Saving the Rainforest

Maria just donated books to the lending library at Kids Saving the Rainforest in Manuel Antonia, Costa Rica. Kids Saving the Rainforest is a non-profit organization founded in 1999. In addition to the rehabilitation of animals, Kids Saving the Rainforest also has a Educational Center where children can check out books. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Catch the News!

Maria was interviewed for KARE 11 news and her story will be featured on Friday's news programs. 

About Read Indeed

Read Indeed is a 501c3 nonprofit literacy organization and the vision of Maria Keller, a book-loving 4th grader who wants to make the world a better place—one book at a time. Maria's goal is to collect and distribute 1,000,000 books to needy children by the time she's 18. She has been collecting and distributing books since she was 8 years old—touching the lives of more than 1 quarter of a million children so far.

MARIA HAS COLLECTED/DISTRIBUTED MORE THAN 300,000 BOOKS!!! Check out her new web site at to see the up-to-date book counter!

Book Donations Counter—more than 300,000 Books!!!

With the help of people and companies throughout the country, Maria has collected:
New and used children's books! Check out Maria's new web site at for her up-to-date book counter!

Maria Receives Kids Are Heroes Award in January 2010!

Special Thanks!

UPDATE: Maria is receiving another 26,000 books from The Child's World! Thank you so much for your continued support of Maria's efforts!

UPDATE: The Child's World in North Mankato will be donating an additional 26,000 brand new children's books to Read Indeed. Thank you so much for your generosity!

UPDATE: John Adams of Feather Rock Books is donating 1,000 copies of his book The Dragonfly Door, which is a children's picturebook for ages five to nine. It is written to assist children who are coping with a significant loss in their life. Maria has chosen to donate the 1,000 books to the Children's Grief Connection in Minnesota. Thank you John!

UPDATE: Maren Green Publishing in Stillwater is donating 2,900 brand new children's books to Read Indeed. Maria will be providing these books to Hope For the City for distribution to the 85 organizations they serve! Thank you so much Todd Snow and his team at Maren Green!

UPDATE: The Child's World, a publishing company in Mankato, MN is giving Maria approximately 30,000 new books! And Mike Morley of Greatland Transportation in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin has offered to transport the books to Read Indeed! Maria is overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness bestowed by these two companies and everyone else who is supporting Read Indeed by collecting and donating books to her cause! Thank you so much!

Thanks To the Kids at Adventure Day Camp

A huge thank you to the kids at Adventure Day Camp in Maplewood! This summer the kids attending Adventure Day Camp, a 4-H affiliated program, spend a lot of time collecting books from the surrounding neighborhood, businesses and churches. Together they collected more than 1,400 books for Read Indeed! Maria had the pleasure of spending part of an afternoon with the kids—she shared her story of Read Indeed and they shared their triumphs in collecting so many books for needy kids! Thanks so much for all of your efforts!

Thank You M&I Bank and Waterpark of America!!

The two-month book drive that M&I Bank orchestrated along with Waterpark of America & KARE 11 News has been an astounding success!

Nearly 67,000 books have been donated to Read Indeed through the M&I Bank book drive. In addition, about $6000 has been donated to Read Indeed's efforts. This money will be used to help pay for shipping of books to regions throughout the world that are in need of books.

Thank you to everyone who donated to this cause! And thanks to all the individuals at M&I Bank, Waterpark of America and KARE 11 News who helped make this happen!

Recipient Organizations

• Buffalo Food Shelf
• Buffalo Community Education
• Project For Pride in Living
• Rockford Elementary School, Rockford
• Hope Bridge, New Hope
• Adult Options in Education, Hopkins
• St. Joseph's Home For Children, Minneapolis
• Cedar Island Elementary, Maple Grove
• Youth Rescue Initiative, New Orleans
• St. Michael Catholic School
• New Hope Church Food Shelf, New Hope
• Northport Elementary, Brooklyn Center
• North Minneapolis Urban League Elementary
• Nova Classic Academy
• Jefferson Community School, Minneapolis
• St. Louis Park Early Childhood Family Education
• PATH Crisis Nursery, Monticello
• Project For Pride in Living, Minneapolis
• Harvest Prep Academy, Minneapolis
• Eden Prairie School District, Eden Prairie
• St. Ambrose Catholic School
• Learning Disabilities Association, Golden Valley
• Lending library at Kids Saving the Rainforest in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
• Sacred Kids Project, Nebraska
• Northside Life Care Center, Minneapolis
• Elizabeth Hall Elementary School, Minneapolis
• Children's Cancer Research Fund Care Partners Program, Minneapolis
• Children's Shelter of Cebu, orphanage on the island of Cebu in the Phillipines
• Minneapolis Children's Hospital, Minneapolis
• Center for Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment, Minneapolis
• Ethopia Reads
• Meadow Lake Elementary, Minneapolis
• People Serving People, Minneapolis
• Hope for the City, Minneapolis
• Woodland Elementary, Osseo
• Metro Hope Ministries, St. Louis Park
• Maple Grove Community Center, Maple Grove
• Community Emergency Assistance Program, Brooklyn Park
• Crestwood Elementary, New Hope
• Adams Spanish Immersion, St. Paul
• Mary's Place, Minneapolis
• Minnetonka Life Care Center, Minnetonka
• Native American kids on Omaha Reservation, Nebraska
• Sharing & Caring Hands, Minneapolis
• Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul
• Ascension School, Minneapolis
• Books For Africa, St. Paul
• St. Catherine's Hospital (Children's Ward), Kenosha, Wisconsin
• Cedarcrest Academy, Maple Grove
• Minnesota Families Who's Homes Were Destroyed by the Tornado in Hugo, Minnesota in 2008
• Friends of the Library, Hennepin County, Minnesota
• Catholic Charities, Minneapolis
• Courage Center, St. Paul
• Holy Name of Jesus School, Medina
• Sacred Heart School, Robbinsdale
• River Valley Riders, Osceola, Wisconsin
• Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona
• Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, Minneapolis
• Meadow Lake Elementary, New Hope
• Plymouth Creek Elementary, Plymouth
• Tubman Family Alliance, Minneapolis

• R.E.A.C.H A Child! Minnesota
R.E.A.C.H A Child! Wisconsin
• R.E.A.C.H A Child! Nebraska
• Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose District 877
• Love INC, Delano
• Eastern Carver County Schools, Carver
• Delano School District, Delano
• Rockford School District 883, Rockford
• With Wings and a Halo, Minneapolis
• Prairie View Elementary
• AEON, Minneapolis
• Buffalo Community Education, Buffalo
• North Anoka County Emergency Food Shelf
• St. Thomas More School, St. Paul
• St. Michael Elementary, St. Michael
• Minnesota Center for the Arts
• Buffalo Early Childhood Family Education
• Orono Early Childhood Family Education
• Forest Elementary, Robbinsdale
Ridgedale YMCA/Minnetonka Heights Community Enhancement
• Mount Olivet Lutheran Church

A Thousand Thanks To Read Indeed

Here are some of the thank you notes that Maria & Read Indeed have received:

Thank you so much for your generous donation of books to our Family Literacy Night at Northport Elementary in Brooklyn Center, MN. We had over 300 people attend an evening of free pizza, pop, book give-away, and a presentation by author Bruce Lansky. Because of your donation, each student was able to pick out several books to take home. It was so much fun seeing the excitement on their faces as they carefully chose their books! They were still talking about that the next day at school. Thanks again for giving them such a priceless gift - books!

Cyndie Misner
Title One Teacher
Northport Elementary


Thanks for sharing your story. It was a pleasure to show the Twin Cities how you are helping kids. I hope you reach 1,000,000!
Jeff Olsen, KARE 11

Dear Maria:

Thank you so much for your book donation to Community of Peace Academy. Your gift provided each student in kindergarten to 2nd grade with a book of their own. Your thoughtfulness is an inspiration to me and all of the students here at CPA. You are an incredibly amazing person. Good luck on your million book goal.
Sarah Bober, librarian

Dear Maria:

It was a pleasure to meet you, your brother, and your mother at our offices. Thank you for arranging for the amazing contribution of so many books for the Care Partners program. There are many young cancer patients and their siblings who will really appreciate these books.

Kids can change the world. Your Read Indeed program is living proof of that. I have a great job...I get to help kids lead happier, healthier lives by improving their outcomes when faced with cancer. But the best part of my job is getting to thank people, like you, who truly make a difference in the lives of children.

Thank you for the great work that you are doing with the Read Indeed program and good luck in getting to your goal of one million books!

John Hallberg
Children's Cancer Research Fund

Dear Maria:

Thank you so much for your generous donation of books! Your donation will contribute to the weekly needs of the foodshelf. Because of your generosity, we can give a book to every child this summer! Another great way to keep our kids 'filled and healthy!'
Joane Yackel, director
North Anoka County Emergency Foodshelf

My dear little Maria:

I just wanted to say thank you for giving books to God's poor of poor children! I know God is using you in a very special way to bring His love to this broken world. You truly add bring light to many dark worlds. God will always bless you.

Mary Jo Copeland
Sharing & Caring Hands

Dear Maria,

Thank you so much for your kind and generous donation of books to our preschoolers! At Preschool 4 Peace we strive to foster a love of reading and having books in our students' hands is essential to achieving this goal. Thank you again!

Preschool 4 Peace Staff and Students

Dear Maria,
All of the children, staff and volunteers at St. Joseph's Home for Children want you to know how very special we think you are! Your extraordinary effort to collect a million books to distribute to kids around the world is meaningful and important in many ways. We are abundantly grateful, that of all the children in the world, you have included ours at St. Joe's.

When a child arrives at St. Joe's, scared and alone, we can make that child feel comforted with a book from our friend, Maria. We are also using the books in our dormitories where kids live. Imagine how wonderful it must be for a little girl or boy to have a bedtime story read by one of our employees or volunteers. It's nice to fall asleep thinking happy thoughts. Your gift has made that possible and we cannot thank you enough.

We wish you every success in your mission to provide reading material for children around the world. Thank you again, Maria, for your amazing act of kindness.

Mary Schoelch
Volunteer Coordinator

Dear Maria,

Thank you so much for the donation of books that we distributed to our students. You can just imagine how excited they were when they were told they could pick out a book to read over the summer. We are blessed with many motivated readers at St. Thomas More. Your efforts to get books into the hands of children is much appreciated!

Thanks again,
Patrick Lofton

Dear Maria,
Congratulations on doing a wonderful service for other children!

Best wishes,
Ginger Nielson
Children's book illustrator

Dear Maria:

I am sending you a thank you note to thank you on behalf of all the children who are receiving Read Indeed books. Your gigantic book drive has already helped so many kids. You are a kind, thoughtful girl who is a leader.

Thank you again for being so thoughtful of other kids who don't have any books.

Claire McGlynn
Children's book author

M&I Bank & KARE 11 Book Drive

Commitment to Community

M&I Bank and KARE11 are working together to collect books to benefit Read Indeed. Please bring your new or gently used books to any M&I Bank Twin Cities location* between now and July 31, 2009 

Cash donations to benefit Read Indeed will also be accepted.

*also to include Hudson and Prescott, WI

For more information visit

Hold A Book Drive For Read Indeed!

If you would like to hold a book drive for Read Indeed at your school, church or office, please let us know. We can forward flyers that have been created for book drives! We can help you by providing bins to collect the books and arrange for the books to be picked up at your organization. Thanks!

Current and Recent Book Drives!

Adventure Bay Day Camp
This fantastic camp has currently collected 1,404 books for Read Indeed!

Marion W. Savage Elementary School
UPDATE: 6/5/09 Mrs. Eileen Feely's 6th Grade Class at Marion W. Savage Elementary School in Savage just finished their book drive for Read Indeed and collected 289 books! That's fantastic! Maria was able to meet some of the students and she was completely impressed that many of those students had earned incredible scores in the Accelerated Reader program during the school year! It's a great testament to young readers helping other kids to read! Thank you!

Mendota Heights Elementary
UPDATE: 5/18/09 Mendota Heights Elementary just finished their book drive for Read Indeed and collected 334 books! That's fantastic! Thanks tons!

Nova Classical Academy
UPDATE: 5/18/09 Nova Classical Academy just finished their book drive for Read Indeed and collected more than 700 books. Way to go!