Literacy Programs for Children

Jun 25, 2014

Double Your Impact today!

Today Only! Microsoft is matching all donations made to Literacy Programs for Children.

Today you can Double Your Impact on early childhood literacy and continue to provide children all over the country access to the joys of reading.

This offer applies to any gift made after 9am PDT (12noon EDT) at Literacy Programs for Children.

Thank you for choosing to support us in our aim to serve children and families across the country with the Raising A Reader programs. 

Yours in Book Sharing 
The Raising A Reader Team


For more information on how Microsoft supports youth initiatives see and check out #YouthSpark on Twitter


Jun 24, 2014

Just One Day to Double Your Impact

Tomorrow, for just one day, Microsoft and GlobalGiving will double your impact by matching all gifts made to Literacy Programs for Children

Just $35 enables a child to continue in our program for 1 year; $100 enrolls a brand new child in a new program. Tomorrow we can double those numbers! By doubling your gift we can double our impact.

This offer only applies to gifts made via our GlobalGiving platform so please visit us there at Literacy Programs for Children

As always, thank you for your ongoing support of childhood literacy through Raising A Reader.

Yours in book sharing                        
The Raising A Reader Team


Jun 18, 2014

Blue Bags, Book Sharing and a Summer visit from the Baltimore Mayor

RAR's Derrell Washington in Baltimore last week

Here at Raising A Reader the weeks leading up to summer mean one very special thing – it’s time for kids to graduate from the Raising A Reader program!

This is always a very special time of year and involves thousands of events across the country. At each event, children receive a Raising A Reader blue library bag to take home and use to carry books from the library. Teachers provide parents and children with information on local library membership and any child without a membership is shown where to sign up – This helps make summer all about books and opportunities for children to share books with their parents or caregivers.

Serramonte Head Start, San Mateo County CA, held one of the many blue library bag events this spring. Head Start programs in San Mateo provide an affordable high quality option for parents in a region that often sees families priced out of quality child care.

In Baltimore, Arlington Elementary hosted a summer reading event and had a very special guest drop by. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a strong supporter of Raising A Reader and the more than 20,000 children enrolled in Raising A Reader throughout Baltimore, came to the event to showcase the progress being made by students throughout the city.  

"It is so important for the future of our young people that they develop a love for reading. This is a great program. I am very proud that it's here in Baltimore. I'm glad to see so many parents here today. This is a group effort."

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Raising A Reader

In the photo above, our Manager of Programs Derrell Washington reads to a room of Arlington  Elementary students at the event last week.

Thank you for making wonderful events like these possible!

It is because of donors like you that we are able to provide these vital opportunities for children to experience the joy of reading and develop a love of books. Thank you from programs like Serramonte Head Start in California and schools like Arlington Elementary in Maryland.  Donors like you make it possible for Raising A Reader to implement these opportunities across the country.       

Yours in book sharing 
The Raising A Reader Team

Ps. Keep an eye on our GlobalGiving updates – Next week Microsoft will be matching all gifts made to Raising A Reader! We’ll keep you updated as we get closer to the day.

Thank you! from children of Serramonte Head Start
Thank you! from children of Serramonte Head Start


Apr 3, 2014

The Next Million Readers

North Carolina
North Carolina

Raising A Reader had a successful programming year in 2013! The program saw significant expansion as we added new affiliates and grew our School Age program. There was also an increase in the diversity of participating children and sites. Every day that a Raising A Reader bag filled with books is in the home of a child, a magical and transformative experience takes place.

Christie Speck from the Solano Community College Children’s Program stated,

“One hundred thirty children and their parents participate in our RAR program weekly. A majority of the parents attended the workshops offered to promote daily reading.  RAR was listed as a favorite family activity during the resent program evaluation.  Recently a parent told me she and her son were on their way home after school when her son yelled, ‘STOP! We have to go back to school; I forgot my books.’  She told him she had things to do and wasn't able to go back to school. Her son cried and said, ‘I need my red book pack.’  She realized at that moment the importance of the RAR program and turned the car around and headed back to school to retrieve the books.”

Below are some highlights based on the most recent completed surveys…

  • Raising A Reader was represented in 33 states + Washington, D.C.
  • There were 159 Raising A Reader Affiliates with a total of 2,751 Implementation Sites.
  • The implementation sites were in a variety of settings: family home daycares, child care centers, preschools, Head Starts, housing communities, home visiting programs, libraries, school districts, etc.
  • A total of 130,352 children were rotating red RAR bags into their homes and engaging in book cuddling routines with their families.
  • Raising A Reader families speak a variety of languages including: English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Somali, Burmese, Navajo, and Portuguese.

In 2014, Raising A Reader will support thousands of families in developing reading routines, practice early literacy skills by sharing award-winning books, and sustain home literacy habits through libraries by arming families with a love of reading. Thank you for your ongoing generosity and all you do to support children and families across the country. We couldn’t do it without you!



Jan 16, 2014

15 Years of Reading

Group from 2000
Group from 2000

As 2014 begins, Raising A Reader is celebrating 15 years of building, practicing and sustaining home literacy habits for children and their families.  

Over the years, Raising A Reader has heard from programs across the country about the impact of the program on children and families. Quotes from the archives represent the children, parents and teachers that have made the program successful.

“My favorite thing is the books.  My favorite book is a Raising A Reader book and it is called In the Small, Small Pond.  I like all the animals.  I like all the Raising A Reader books and I like it when I get books and put them in my bag and check them out.  I like the turtle at the library and I like to listen to the books.  The Blue Book bag party was really fun.”  -participant

“Raising A Reader gives Spanish speaking parents the ability to practice reading basic English in the privacy of their home which begin to build confidence to read outside the home.” Aspen Preschool teacher

“The RAR program has allowed our students to have daily access to books. Not all our student have library cards but the program has instilled responsibility in our students so when the time comes to get a library card they we will be confident in their role as a reader. The students are excited every Monday afternoon to receive their new collection of red bag books. I have heard from families that they are appreciative of the activity they can share with their child every night.” -Principal (Arizona)

“I like this program because it has books in English and Spanish. My child can hear me reading in Spanish and he tries to read in the same way with emotion.”  -Parent

“Raising a Reader is really good because it helps teach my child responsibility. He has to put the books away each night when we have finished reading and he has to return the bag each week.”   Parent

In 2014, Raising A Reader will support thousands of families in developing reading routines, practice early literacy skills by sharing award-winning books, and sustain home literacy habits through libraries by arming families with a love of reading.

A generous donor from 2013 has continued their matching pledge for 2014! All gifts to support Raising A Reader will be matched at 100%! That means that a $35 pledge to support one existing child will turn into TWO children served through Raising A Reader.

Thank you for your ongoing generosity and all you do to support children and families across the country. We couldn’t do it without you!

Group from 2013
Group from 2013


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Raising A Reader

Redwood City, CA, United States

Project Leader

Olivia Jones

Redwood City, California United States

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