Changing the world one book at a time.

Canyon Country, CA   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 81-2856009


Our mission is to provide recreational books to elementary school children in low income communities. By providing books to children who would otherwise not be able to afford them, we aim to increase literacy and foster a lifetime love of reading.

Ruling year info


Founder / President

Mackenzie Krestul

Vice President

Amanda Krestul

Main address

17056 Canvas St

Canyon Country, CA 91387 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Reading promotion

Public affairs

Youth organizing

Population served info

Children and youth


NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Illiteracy is a crisis in our country. For millions of youth living in poverty in the United States a book free home is a reality. Lack of access to books is a key contributor to the repetitive cycle of educational disadvantage. Reading is a powerful tool, and lack of access to books is a major factor in the cycle of economic disadvantage. When children have access to books they are empowered to develop a lifetime love of reading.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Code Read

We are currently working with elementary schools, foster youth and families in transitional housing based in Los Angeles County.  Our partner elementary schools are comprised of 600-900 students K-8 grade, the majority of which qualify for free lunch, and their families live below the poverty level. We provide approximately 7000 books per school year as well as 3500 book bags.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of books distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Code Read

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to provide every child an equal opportunity to increase their academic growth through reading. The Annie E. Casey Foundation found that 74 percent of students who tested below the 25th percentile in reading were from low-income families. Providing a wealth of books to children in low-income homes can help break the link between poverty and poor academic outcomes. Scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), are considered “catastrophically low” for children of color. Nationally, only 18 percent of black students and 21 percent of Hispanic students tested “above proficient” in reading by the end of 4th grade.

Code Read is an advocate for youth literacy founded for the sole purpose of providing children in need with new books they can call their own. In 2022, Code Read intends to continue to put new books into the hands of underserved youth in Los Angles County. Our goal is to provide intriguing, age appropriate print materials to 4,000 children in Title 1 elementary schools, transitional housing and foster homes in order to increase their literacy skills and desire to read. Research has shown that increasing access to books and giving children the opportunity to chose what they desire to read improves literacy levels and attitudes toward reading and learning.

Our program at the elementary school level begins with a kickoff assembly at the school. We speak to students about the importance of reading and encourage kids to work hard to earn their books. Our goal is to create excitement and enthusiasm for reading. Through our program, students receive reward charts and work to achieve goals set by their teachers. Each reward system is unique to the student. For one child goals might include turning in homework, for another it might be reading every day for 20 minutes. Goals are always realistic so as not to exclude any child. The purpose of the reward system is for the student to feel as though they have earned the books they chose. Six to eight weeks following the kickoff assembly, we return to host a free book fair. Every student is included.

Code Read operates differently for families in transitional housing and foster youth. For these children we simply set up a free book distribution. Kids can chose from hundreds of age appropriate titles. We strive to get free books into the youth who need them the most.

Code Read was founded in 2016 by student, Mackenzie Krestul. Code Read is an approved 501c3 public charity, incorporated in California. Mackenzie`s passion for reading drives her desire to improve literacy levels and inspire a love of reading in as many children as possible.
Since incorporation, Code Read has provided over 30,000 new books, 10,000 book bags and 10,000 bookmarks to disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles County. We have received multiple honors from the Palmdale California School District recognizing Code Read’s contribution to the community.

Our highest priority is to serve low income communities as well as organizations that serve this population. We have embarked on a capital campaign to fund a Bookmobile. A Bookmobile will enable Code Read to extend our outreach to include Head Start Centers, preschools, senior centers, assisted living facilities, low-income housing, children’s hospitals and juvenile detention centers. The Bookmobile will provide free high quality fiction and nonfiction books for all ages including large print and Spanish books. Providing free books for ownership will strengthen our goal of allowing children and adults an equal opportunity to increase their academic growth through reading.

Code Read is proud to have provided over 30,000 new books to children in low income communities. Research has shown that increasing access to books and giving children the opportunity to chose what they desire to read improves literacy levels and attitudes toward reading and learning.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback



Financial data

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: 2022

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Contributions, Grants, Gifts $11,379
Program Services $0
Membership Dues $0
Special Events $0
Other Revenue $0
Total Revenue $39,884
Program Services $18,594
Administration $3,106
Fundraising $0
Payments to Affiliates $0
Other Expenses $0
Total Expenses $21,701


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: 2022

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total Assets $29,563
Total Liabilities $0
Fund balance (EOY)
Net Assets $29,563


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Founder / President

Mackenzie Krestul

Mackenzie Krestul founded Code Read when she was a 16 year old student in Santa Clarita, CA. Mackenzie is passionate about literacy and believes that every child deserves the right to own their own books regardless of socio-economic status. She is currently a senior at HOFSTRA University in New York. Code Read has donated over 30,000 new books to underserved youth in Los Angeles County. Mackenzie aims to open an additional branch of Code Read in New York.

Vice President

Amanda Krestul

Amanda Krestul holds a journalism degree from the University of Kansas. Formerly, she was a Writer/Producer for Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

There are no officers, directors or key employees recorded for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 04/12/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Glenda Johnson

retired teacher

Term: 2016 - 2023

Marina Scavone

retired teacher

Tracy Woodman

Teacher, SSSD

Barbara Lewin

retired teacher

Glenda Johnson

retired teacher

Ann Margaret Kline


Steve Heller


Laura Luke


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/12/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/18/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.