Meet Downtown Brooklyn mom and co-founder of Brooklyn Book Bodega Seema Aghera, find out about her non-profit that has distributed over 50,000 books to children in Brooklyn, her work during the pandemic and life in Brooklyn.

Your job title: Seema Aghera, Cofounder of Brooklyn Book Bodega

Your work in one sentence: Being a cofounder of Brooklyn Book Bodega means that I
do a little bit of everything. On a typical day, you might find me: sorting and stamping
books, connecting with teachers requesting books for their classroom, collaborating with
community partners, fundraising, or designing our website.

Your children: 3 daughters ages 8, 9, 12

Where do your kids go to school: Brooklyn Prospect Charter School

Which neighborhood do you live in: Downtown Brooklyn, it has been my home now
for 12 years!

What do you love about living in Brooklyn: I love that I can put on a pair of sneakers
and walk from neighborhood to neighborhood with a cup of coffee in hand. Brooklyn has
great parks, amazing neighborhood restaurants, diverse communities, and so much
more. My family and I love being outside. You will often find us playing tennis, softball,
soccer, running, kickball and relaxing in one of our favorite parks; Commodore Barry
Park, Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Prospect Park.

More information about your company: Brooklyn Book Bodega is a nonprofit that increases the number of 100+ book homes for kids 0-18 in NYC. Research shows that households with 100+ books boost life outcomes for children and adolescents. We believe that all children should be part of a vibrant, literate community and grow up in homes with access to books that they want to read regardless of financial status. Brooklyn Book Bodega provides access to and ownership of books, builds community, and creates a passion for learning through free events and literacy-based community programming. Since 2018, Brooklyn Book Bodega has distributed over 50,000 books to more than 8,500 people.

Brooklyn Book Bodega’s work during the Pandemic: While the pandemic impacts all of us, it does not impact all of us equally. In April of 2020 we pivoted toward partnering with community based organizations to ensure that kids and families receive books in addition to food and essential items. We have collaborated with educators, schools, community organizations, and food pantries to make sure that families have access to books during this crisis. In addition to having enough to feed their bellies, all children deserve to have access to books which will feed their minds and provide additional learning support. Since April 2020, we have distributed over 27,000 books to over 5,000 people. We have streamlined our systems to ensure that books get into the hands of the children and families who need them most.

How Brooklyn Bridge Parents readers can get involved: There are many ways to get involved at Brooklyn Book Bodega and include your family and neighbors. Your support will provide Brooklyn children and their families with access to books, an opportunity to build their own library at home, and literacy-based community programming.

  • Host a book drive in your neighborhood with your kids and neighbors
  • Fundraise for Brooklyn Book Bodega
  • Volunteer to sort and book stamps on weekday mornings at our warehouse
    (Adults only)
  • Donate your new and gently used children’s books at one of our book donation
    locations in Brooklyn
  • Donate through our website. The Brooklyn Book Bodega is a 501(c)(3) charitable
    organization. Your donation is 100% tax deductible