The care kids need—for the learning they deserve.

The Problem

Think back to when you were little—when you were first learning how to read. Remember how tough it was to decode the letters on the page…how long it took to sound out each consonant and vowel and slowly thread them together into words you could understand. Feel the frustration that came with trying again and again, before you finally got it right—that tightness in your chest, and the hot flush on your face. Recall what it was like to really, deeply want to read, and to know how many months—or years—of hard work stood between you and your first chapter book.

  • Now imagine trying to do all of that at school, coming from a home without any books—or without enough soap, toothpaste, and other basic hygiene products to go around. Imagine trying to sit still in class while wearing second-hand shoes that pinch your growing feet. Imagine trying to focus while you’re still shivering from the icy walk to school, with only an old sweatshirt to keep you warm…

  • This is the unfortunate reality for too many low-income students around the country. When a child’s basic needs for cleanliness, physical comfort, and access to learning materials aren’t met, their ability to engage in the deep focus required for early literacy development and overall school success is severely compromised. This results in a wide opportunity gap between the middle-class and affluent students who have easy access to these simple necessities, and the low-income students who do not.

The Solution

Equal access to basic necessities like clothes, shoes, and hygiene products—not to mention grade-appropriate and culturally-relevant books—levels the playing field for students from low-income households, setting them up for learning, thriving, and long-term success at school and in life.

  • Here at the Chris Long Foundation, we’re eliminating barriers to learning by supporting the holistic needs of low-income students, making sure they can arrive at school comfortable and and ready to learn.

  • Specifically, by providing books to low-income children throughout the United States, and by getting clothes, shoes, and hygiene products to kids in need in our program cities of Charlottesville, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, we remove obstacles that make learning more difficult than it has to be, and help students get the fair shot at the education they deserve.

Our programs

Elite athletes, coaches, and fans team up to help kids have access to the materials needed for educational equity and success.


Easily accessible children’s books are more than just an enjoyable way for kids and families to pass the time—they are a critical part of early childhood literacy development. Having a handful of age-appropriate and culturally-relevant books in the home, classroom, and school library gives kids the opportunity to practice their reading skills, accelerating their learning and greatly increasing their chances of reading at grade-level. Having books on hand also allows families to participate in and support a child’s learning, further improving their likelihood of success at school.

Through EdZone we work with our partners around the country to provide free books to schools and households in need, offering low-income families an invaluable tool for their children’s reading development.

Basic Necessities

Soap, shampoo, and toothpaste—along with comfortable, well-fitting clothes—are overlooked but vital pieces of early childhood education. The feeling of being comfortable in one’s own skin is a necessary foundation for effective learning. When this basic need is not met, kids naturally become fidgety, cranky, and distracted.

Through EdZone, we’re working with our implementing partners in our target cities of Philadelphia, Charlottesville, and St. Louis to provide these basic necessities to local kids who would otherwise have a hard time accessing them. By taking care of these important needs, we make sure children can arrive at school feeling cared for, provided for, and confident—ready for a fun day of learning with friends and teachers.

Help Kids Get the Education They Deserve

By supporting the Chris Long Foundation, you can help us provide students from low-income families with the simple things that make learning fun, fulfilling, and accessible for everyone. Donate today to help us get books, clothing, shoes, and hygiene supplies directly to the children who need them most, or take part in a fundraiser to raise awareness around the need for educational equity.

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Implementing Partners

Thank you to the many organizations who’ve supported our mission to provide basic needs items and

books to children throughout the United States.