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Photo of Lizzy reading braille books Seedlings Braille Books for Children's mailing address:
P.O. Box 51924
Livonia, MI 48151-5924

Seedlings' physical (and UPS) address:
14151 Farmington Road
Livonia, MI 48154

Toll-free phone: 800-777-8552
Phone & fax: 734-427-8552

EIN: 38-2565354
MICS#: 8623

January 2024: Seedlings was featured on "The Kelly Clarkson Show"!:

January 2024: Seedlings was featured on Channel 4 News!:

September 2018: Seedlings was featured on PBS' award-winning show "Under the Radar Michigan"!
Learn more about Seedlings here:

Photo of a child reading a braille book outside

Seedlings' Mission

Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy and education by providing high quality, free and low cost braille books for children.
Seedlings' Letter of Determination from the IRS

Seedlings' History

In 1984 when Debra Bonde founded Seedlings, braille materials were scarce and expensive. Her goals were to increase the availability and lower the cost of braille books for children in order to promote their literacy skills and the love of reading. In 1985, the first year of book production, Debra made 221 books in her basement office. By 1990, Seedlings was producing 5,000 books per year, which precipitated its move out of Debra's basement and into the Bentley Center in Livonia, Michigan, and eventually to our present location on Farmington Road in Livonia. In 2023, with a small staff, and a group of loyal volunteers, Seedlings produced over 48,000 braille books and articles (68% of which were given away for free), with a grand total of 730,000 since 1984, equalling millions of pages of braille! For more information, see Seedlings' 2023 Annual Report and Seedlings' 2022 Audit.

In 1994, Seedlings added The Rose Project, which provides free encyclopedia articles in braille for student's projects and reports. Since that time, we have added several other giveaway programs in our quest to fill the existing braille book desert with thousands of wonderful books for children with vision loss. In 2022, over 23,000 books were given away for free and the rest were made available for an average of only $10 each! For more information on Seedlings' Giveaway Programs, see our Special Programs page.

Seedlings' Books

Photo of a child's hands on a braille book Seedlings' braille materials have opened up new worlds for thousands of children. Seedlings Braille Books for Children is keeping visually impaired children in the mainstream of popular literature and is reaching braille readers in all 50 states and over 75 foreign countries. Seedlings contributes to literacy by providing children with vision loss equal opportunity to develop the love of reading.

Braille books are provided at each level of development, from toddler board books to classic literature for older children. Just as sighted children learn to read as they are exposed to the printed word, so do visually impaired children who are exposed to the tactile page at an early age. New titles are added every year as highly skilled volunteer braille transcribers spend countless donated hours translating print books into braille and preparing them for future production. Once the original translation is complete, additional books can be printed as needed. Exposure to popular, high quality braille literature throughout childhood increases the likelihood of children developing into able braille readers.

Seedlings' Funding

As a non-profit organization, Seedlings gives away over half of their books and sells the rest for a fraction of what it costs to make them. Support is very broad based and comes from individuals, philanthropic groups, corporations and private foundations. Seedlings is not a United Way agency and receives no government grants. Thanks to hundreds of generous donors and dedicated, hard-working volunteers, the price of Seedlings' books remains far below actual production costs, averaging only $10 per book. View Seedlings' 2022 990 Form here.

Seedlings' 2024 Board of Directors

Ann Devereux, Parent of Child with Vision Loss & Market Research Analyst
Michelle Ellis, Teacher of Visually Impaired Students
Teresa Gibbons, Teacher of Visually Impaired Students
Jennifer Joseph, Parent of Child with Vision Loss & School Psychologist
Jessica King, Teacher of Visually Impaired Students
Michelle Lair, VP of Human Resources
Melissa Pilzner, Financial Advisor
Jackie Rau, Controller
Seif Saqallah, Attorney & Braille Reader
Cheryl Shewach, HR Professional
Karen Smith, Library Head of Children's & Teen Services
Jared Stofflett, Software Developer & Braille Reader

Seedlings' Board Members receive no financial compensation for their services.

Seedlings in the news ...

Photo of Debra Bonde in front of bookshelf and holding a Seedlings book
December 2019: Seedlings' Founder & Director featured in the Living Lutheran Magazine:
Read more about it here. (Photo credit: Courtesy of Living Lutheran, photo by Bill Bresler.)

June 2016: Livonia Today includes a nice spread about Seedlings:
Read the article here.

July 2015: Seedlings wins the prestigious Bolotin Award: The National Federation of the Blind on July 10 presented a $10,000 cash award to Seedlings Braille Books for Children as one of five organizations and individuals honored with a Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award which goes to innovators in the blindness field. The award took place at the 75th national convention of the National Federation of the Blind annual convention held in Orlando, Florida. Read more about it here.

February 2015: The Livonia Observer gives Seedlings' Director their Citizen of the Year Award:
Read the article here.

May 2002: Seedlings' founder and director was selected as a "Michiganian of the Year" by the Detroit News.

For more information, view a recent Newsletter here.

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© 2005 Seedlings Braille Books for Children P.O. Box 51924, Livonia, MI 48151-5924 • (734) 427-8552 or (800) 777-8552 [email protected]

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