Literacy is a fundamental human right.

The effects of the coronavirus epidemic have been devastating for many, especially for children and families in high-need communities. When Massachusetts went into lockdown this past March, families lost critical literacy supports. Our partners were abruptly closed – some permanently – and parents and caregivers were left to wonder how they would keep their children reading.

Many families were already struggling and now faced even more difficult choices that had the potential to derail their children’s progress toward Kindergarten readiness. This is unacceptable!

During this unprecedented time, Raising A Reader MA’s team has looked for innovative and effective ways to support our families. Our donors make this possible!

We began holding fully virtual workshops to meet with families from the safety of their homes, added family resources to our website, and created a series of weekly storytime videos with guest readers. Additionally, we provided uninterrupted support and resources to our partners to meet their changing needs.

In March, out of an abundance of caution, we suspended our signature Red Book Bag program – our rotating library of culturally diverse books and resources. Now, the program has restarted, but we need your help!

Because of the long hiatus of our book bag rotation, most of the materials must be replaced. The cost to replace the books and bags is an unexpected consequence of the pandemic and represents a new funding challenge. The anticipated cost to replace our Red Book Bag program loss is approximately $250,000.

Replacing these materials will take time. We need your support today to begin the rebuilding process so we are prepared for the future.

Our goal for this year’s Annual Appeal is to raise $50,000 by midnight on December 31, 2020.

Thanks to the generosity of the Nan Haar Legacy Foundation and DarwinProject.org, every dollar will be matched until we reach $20,000. That doubles the impact of your gift!

Will you partner with us to make sure that every child from the high-need communities we serve, which have been especially challenged by the pandemic and social and racial justice issues, has the support they need to become successful readers?

Literacy changes everything! Be a part of the story by donating today!

As one grandmother in Brockton shared recently: “During this time of uncertainty and fear, I find it most comforting to cuddle up with my grandchildren and read together. We are able to learn so much not only from the stories, but also about one another. Just today, while reading with them I learned how much Dominik loves dinosaurs and how Pterodactyls are Addison’s favorite dinosaur. I am thankful and appreciative of the time that we spend with each other.”