35% of children enter kindergarten unprepared to learn, according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This achievement gap is much higher for low-income and other high need children.
Raising A Reader seeks to close this gap at the roots by partnering with early childhood educators in high need communities to inspire families of young children (newborn to age 5) to develop, practice and maintain a habit of reading books together at home
Raising A Reader MA’s Core Program Model:
Our work, which both increases access to books and gives families tools for improving the culture of reading at home, is driven by more than 25 years of research that correlates high rates of family book sharing during a child’s early years (newborn to age 5) with kindergarten readiness.
Our core program model involves two key components:
- Our Signature Red Bag Book Rotation program: Bright red bags filled with high quality, culturally appropriate children’s books rotate through families’ homes. Over the course of the year, each child gets exposed to dozens of titles to share with their families.
- Family workshops and training: We give parents the strategies they need to share books effectively with their young children. Our five-part training series teaches the key techniques of Dialogic and Interactive Reading, which has been proven to improve children’s vocabulary and other skills essential for their later school success. Our multilingual DVD,Storytime: How to share books with your child, complements these trainings by offering more tips to integrate reading into a daily routine
Raising A Reader MA offers our services to families and children through implementation partnerships with school- and community-based early education programs, family childcare centers, and other organizations where families regularly access services (e.g. adult education programs and churches) in high-risk communities. The third component of our model is training and support for staff at our partner sites in the development of children’s pre-literacy skills through storytelling, book sharing, family empowerment, and related activities.
Since being founded in 2006, Raising A Reader MA has circulated more than 36,000 books and our multilingual training DVD to more than 27,000 children and families in the Commonwealth. We have trained nearly 5,000 parents in Dialogic Reading strategies in high need communities like Brockton, Chelsea and Lawrence.
Visit the “Our Communities” section of our site for more detail on the communities and partners with which we work.