Model & Philosophy

We go beyond book access to deepen impact.

Our dedicated Program Team staff members are located across the state and each possess a deep understanding of the local community. Each team member works with program partner staff to determine the best way to conduct the book rotation and parent/caregiver workshops.

Access to age-appropriate and culturally relevant books combined with coaching parents/caregivers on how to best engage children in books results in an increase in reading frequency, quality and ultimately, kindergarten readiness.

Our Model

Raising A Reader Massachusetts - Model & Philosophy - Our Program

The Research

Studies have shown that the single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.

Our Impact


Caregivers who were not reading 3 times a week, report reading 3+ times a week.


Caregivers report using at least 3 new reading strategies with their children.


Partners report that families improve the way they share books together.

Our Philosophy

Bilingual and Multilingual

Many of the families we serve are bilingual households.

We encourage families to engage in book sharing in all of their household languages and work with partners to help them understand the differences between bilingual and monolingual speakers. Children learning more than one language often take longer to become proficient in both languages, but the total number of words learned is often similar to monolingual children. (Zero to Three)

Evidence Based Research

A model based on over 35 years of research.

The Raising a Reader MA model is based on over 35 years of research showing that being regularly read to by a parent or caregiver is the most significant factor impacting a child’s academic success. We continue to stay updated on the most recent research in the field.

Culture of Literacy

Making time for booksharing.

Booksharing is not just an activity to squeeze into a family’s busy schedule–booksharing is a lifestyle we encourage families to develop by incorporating them into any and all aspects of home life.

Parents And Caregivers Want The Best For Their Child

Reading is an important life skill.

Every parent or caregiver knows reading is important and wants to do their best to support the child’s academic career. We help channel that desire and grow it into actionable skills. By showing parents how to engage their children in interactive reading routines, regardless of their own reading abilities, we empower parents/caregivers to become their children’s first teachers.

Asset Based Language

Harness the good.

We focus on positive outcomes and personal strengths. Our program partners and parents/caregivers all want to better themselves and their children’s academic career. We harness the good to overcome the challenges.

Parents Are The Experts

Adjust reading routines based on what your child needs.

We focus on positive outcomes and personal strengths. Our program partners and parents/caregivers all want to better themselves and their children’s academic career. We harness the good to overcome the challenges.

Context Sensitive

A tailored approach to the needs of the families.

We work with a large variety of partners in a large variety of settings. We tailor our approach to the needs of the families served at each of the program partners. Further, we serve parents and caregivers of all different literacy and education levels. Through context sensitivity, we engage and empower parents and caregivers based on their needs and abilities.

An Approach Spanning Generations

Help develop early literacy skills that drive academic success.

The only way to tackle the literacy opportunity gap is through a multi-generational approach. Before kindergarten, children need engaged parents/caregivers to help them develop early literacy skills that determine their academic success, as well as adult health and a variety of other factors. Children who grow up this way will raise their children this way helping to end the cycle of low literacy.

RAR-MA Communities

Core Communities



We target our services to Gateway cities, which are defined by the state as having unrealized potential, and below median household income and educational attainment levels. These Core Communities receive hands-on attention from our Raising A Reader MA staff.

We collaborate with allies throughout the community to build awareness about the importance of early literacy and parents’ critical role as their child’s first teacher.

Satellite Communities

West Springfield

Our Core Communities act as our main bases of operation throughout Massachusetts, and our Satellite Communities offer opportunities for our program to extend further and reach more families. As in our Satellite Communities, our program depends on established partner organizations who help to break down barriers of entry for families.

Through this delivery model, Satellite partners can provide the RAR-MA programming through a customized fee for service model. We continue to look for other Satellite Communities, and prospective partners can find more information in our Satellite Overview.

Community Ambassadors

Our Community Ambassadors, many of whom have gone through the RAR-MA program, are people who are passionate about out work and see the benefits of parent education with their own children or children in their care. These champions now serve as volunteers to teach families about dialogic reading techniques, elevate family voices in the program model, and support program initiatives.