San Francisco Public Library’s Project Read Celebrates 40 Years of Empowering Adult Learners


SAN FRANCISCO, December 4, 2023 - San Francisco Public Library is thrilled to announce the 40th anniversary of its esteemed adult literacy program, Project Read. In San Francisco, it is estimated that 80,000 adults—one in every five—have some difficulty with basic reading and writing. Since its establishment in 1983, Project Read has been a beacon of hope for more than 7,000 adult learners in the local community, transforming lives through improved reading and writing skills. 

“San Francisco Public Library is incredibly proud of Project Read and the extraordinary achievements of its participants,” says City Librarian Michael Lambert. “Over the years, this program has enabled learners to cast their first vote, complete job applications, get a driver’s license, earn high school diplomas and read to their children—proof of the transformative power of literacy to advance personal growth. I want to thank the many volunteers for helping us in our mission to build a stronger, more literate society, and I want to congratulate all our Project Read participants for taking the leap with us.” 

Project Read revolutionized the field of adult literacy by developing a motivational program that empowers learners to set personal goals based on their own interests and reading aspirations. With a learner-centered approach, the program's professionally trained volunteer tutors provide free, one-on-one tutoring to adults seeking to enhance their basic English language skills. By crafting a curriculum that addresses real-life needs, Project Read ensures learners acquire the tools necessary for success. 

In fiscal year 2022–2023 alone, the dedication of Project Read's volunteers shone brightly as they generously contributed more than 1,300 hours of their time. Their unwavering commitment helped learners achieve significant milestones in their reading and writing journeys, enabling them to fulfill personal goals and aspirations. A recent $315,000 bequest from former tutor Richard Kreisman has further fortified Project Read's mission. This generous contribution will ensure the program's continued success in promoting literacy for years to come. 

For more information about Project Read and how to get involved, visit San Francisco Public Library's website: 

About San Francisco Public Library: 

The San Francisco Public Library is a vital resource for the community, providing free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning, and the joys of reading for all. With a commitment to inclusivity and innovation, the library offers a wide range of programs and services that enrich the lives of San Francisco residents. For more information, visit 

Media Contact: 
Kate Patterson 
T: (415) 557-4252 E: 

December 4, 2023