Mario Batali Foundation and Books For Kids to Open New Library for At-Risk Children in Las Vegas August 24

Mario Batali Foundation and Books For Kids to Open New Library for At-Risk Children in Las Vegas August 24 (Pictured: Addie Mae Collins Library created by Books For Kids in New York).
The Mario Batali Foundation is excited to announce the opening of a new Books for Kids library in Las Vegas at the Variety Early Learning Center (Pictured: Addie Mae Collins Library created by Books For Kids in New York)

This is the tenth Books for Kids library that the Mario Batali Foundation has funded, and their second in the state of Nevada.

The Variety Early Learning Center serves 120 children, primarily from the ages of six weeks to six years old, year-round; 70% of the children at Variety are living below the poverty line.

The opening dedication ceremony will be held on Monday, August 24th at 10 a.m. at Variety Early Learning Center located at 990 D Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89106. Special guests from the Mario Batali Foundation and the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, as well as guests from Books for Kids and the Variety Early Learning will be in attendance. Children from the Variety Early Learning Center will also be part of the opening ceremony.

“Every child deserves a safe, engaging and welcoming place where they can learn, explore and dream (BIG)! We’re so excited to continue to help provide this gift to the children of Las Vegas.” said Mario Batali, Chef/Founder of the Mario Batali Foundation.

The opening ceremony will include a ribbon cutting for the library, a book reading of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, remarks from the Mario Batali Foundation, Books for Kids, and Variety Early Learning Center, and a special thank you from the children.

“The Mario Batali Foundation has been improving the lives of hundreds of under-served children and families in New York for the last four years. Last fall, the Mario Batali Foundation built their first Books for Kids library in Las Vegas at the Acelero Learning Reach Out Center. Today we are thrilled that through their generosity, we are able to expand our reach in Las Vegas with a second library for more children in Clark County to be positively impacted by access to high-quality books and literacy resources,” said Amanda Hirsh, Executive Director of Books for Kids.

The Mario Batali Foundation has sponsored the building of three new libraries in New York City since 2011, in Manhattan on the Lower East Side, the Upper West Side, and Chelsea; and has sponsored the renovation of five Books for Kids libraries in Brooklyn, New York.

“Variety Early Learning Center is so grateful to receive this gift of literacy from Books for Kids and the Mario Batali Foundation. The new library allows VELC to expand our ability to provide quality early childhood education to some of the most deserving and underserved children in Las Vegas,” said Variety’s Board Chairman, Bill Thomas.

The mission of Books for Kids is to promote literacy among all children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. Books for Kids creates libraries, donates books, and implements literacy programs to develop the critical early foundation and skills which young children need to be successful in life. To learn more about Books for Kids, please visit

Long before he was a household name, Mario Batali was a philanthropist. Whether donating his time, services or dollars, Mario has been actively involved in the charities close to his heart for many years to raise awareness and support for children’s disease research and relief, and hunger relief. Prompted by these philanthropic efforts, in 2008, Mario launched the Mario Batali Foundation. The Foundation strives to ensure that all children are well read, well fed and well cared for. To learn more about the Mario Batali Foundation, visit