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Raising A Reader Massachusetts

Who are we?

Raising A Reader MA is an early literacy parent engagement organization. We offer an evidence-based early literacy program that helps families of young children (ages 0-6) develop, practice, and maintain habits of reading together at home.

Why do we do it?

RAR-MA makes over 100 high quality culturally appropriate book titles accessible to children and families every year.
RAR-MA makes over 100 high quality culturally appropriate book titles accessible to children and families every year.

Research shows that the single most significant factor influencing a child’s lifelong achievement is being regularly read to by their parents and adult caregivers before starting kindergarten. 

53% of Massachusetts students are not reading at grade-level by the end of third grade. Even more concerning, 71% of poor students, 71% of Black students, 71% of Latino/Hispanic students, 80% of English Language Learner students, and 86% of students with disabilities are not reading at grade-level by the end of 3rd grade.

Children who are not proficient readers by the end of third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma.  This gap begins well before children begin school. Research has identified discrepancies in children’s vocabulary based on socioeconomic status as early as 18 months.

In Massachusetts, one child out of three from a high need community will not graduate from high school because the child enters kindergarten behind and will never catch up.

Children growing up in poverty experience a 30 million word gap [that is to say, they enter kindergarten having heard 30 million fewer words], compared to their middle class counterparts (Hart & Risley, 1995).

Who do we work with?

Raising A Reader MA is a collaborative program – we work with centers of early education and care including Horizons for Homeless Children, Head Start, home visitors, early intervention playgroups, and public pre-schools.

"It is really exciting to have books at home. They just get read over and over. I love seeing kids opening the books and getting so excited." Wendy Guerrero, Parent
“It is really exciting to have books at home. They just get read over and over. I love seeing kids opening the books and getting so excited.” Wendy Guerrero, Parent

Where do we serve?

Raising A Reader MA currently has more than 48,000 books in circulation through the homes of 12,000 children and families across the Commonwealth including: Boston (Dorchester, East Boston, Jamaica Plain, and Roxbury), Chelsea, Revere, Everett, Malden, Brockton, Taunton, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Plymouth, and Springfield. In the next few years, we hope to serve Fitchburg and Worcester.