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Bilingual Books for Literacy & Learning Across US

by Raising A Reader
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Bilingual Books for Literacy & Learning Across US
Bilingual Books for Literacy & Learning Across US
Bilingual Books for Literacy & Learning Across US
Bilingual Books for Literacy & Learning Across US
Bilingual Books for Literacy & Learning Across US
Bilingual Books for Literacy & Learning Across US
Bilingual Books for Literacy & Learning Across US

Thank you for your commitment to early childhood literacy this year. Even with your generous support, we still have more work to do in this country.

Did you know 6 out of 10 U.S. children fail to read proficiently by grade 4? For children living in Detroit, Michigan the statistics are more startling. With support from generous people like you, we are able to expand our reach to families and children in places like Detroit.

There are currently more than 80,000 children under the age of eight living in Detroit, with more than 60 percent of Detroit’s children under the age of five living in poverty. Approximately 86 percent of Detroit’s third-graders are not reading at grade level, which makes it more likely these children will struggle academically and throughout their lives without intervention.

In November, Raising A Reader announced a new partnership with Brilliant Detroit, a local nonprofit that provides academic readiness programs to underserved children in the Detroit area. The partnership is aimed at improving the city’s literacy rate among elementary school children which is among the lowest in the country.

“We can and must do better for our children,” said Cindy Eggleton, CEO of Brilliant Detroit. “Our efforts at Brilliant Detroit are to use what we know works to help kids and families be school and life ready. We are thrilled to bring Raising a Reader to Detroit to help do just that."

Initially Raising A Reader will be rolled out to approximately 100 families with children 0-3 as part of a pilot program, and then expanded to a greater number of families throughout metropolitan Detroit through Brilliant Detroit locations working in partnership with local schools.

“This partnership will mark Raising A Reader’s first entry into Detroit and we are extremely optimistic about the impact we can have through Brilliant Detroit,” said Erica Wood, interim president and CEO of Raising A Reader. “The city’s children are in dire need of a literacy program to break the cycle of poverty and academic underperformance and we are committed to playing a role in that process.”

We at Raising A Reader are extremely grateful for donors like you. It is with your help that we will be able to serve more families and children in cities like Detroit.

As you know, we recently announced one of the most aggressive literacy campaigns in recent U.S. history. We have committed to reaching 3 million children across the country with our literacy program by 2020. We can \not do it without you! Please consider making a yearend donation to Raising A Reader to make sure we don't leave another child behind. 

Many thanks,

Your Raising A Reader Team 

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Here at Raising A Reader (RAR), we believe that providing tools for educators and parents is just as important as providing books to the children we serve. Behind the scenes steps are taken to ensure program success before one red bag reaches a child in a classroom.

RAR works diligently to identify partner agencies in need of literacy interventions, such as Raising A Reader. The agency appoints a RAR Program Coordinator to work one-on-one with a member of the RAR Programs team to create an implementation plan based on the needs of the agency. The RAR program supports language development, school readiness, early literacy, parent involvement, and family bonding to name a few. 

Once key needs are identified, RAR provides the agency with the tools and training needed to improve connections between the organization and the home. We do this by providing training to Program Coordinators and Implementers (classroom educators) with the best "read aloud" strategies and the impacts of brain development. After being trained with the best shared reading techniques, Coordinators and Implementers will host in-person parent workshops at their agency to equip parents with the tools they need to share stories with their children.

The book bag delivery system is turnkey. The RAR Programs team will help the Program Coordinator select the best books for their families to share. The RAR book collection includes an array of educational and entertaining themes. Many RAR families are English Language Learners. RAR has books in 15 different languages to incorporate into the weekly book rotation. Other themes include, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Financial Literacy, Special Needs, books adapted with Braille, and more. 

In addition to books, each red book bag includes a parent DVD (in 15 languages) with reading tips and book sharing strategies they can try with their reader. This is a great supplement for those parents who were unable to attend the in-person training sessions. 

RAR continues to provide support to agency partners throughout the 26-week rotation cycle to answer questions and ensure program success. Tools and resources extend beyond the red book bag. Before one book is read, educators and parents are being equipped with the tools and strategies they need to set their child up for success. 

Thank you for your continued support of our efforts at RAR. It is your generosity that helps us prepare agencies and families for success that last beyond the classroom!

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Florence Crittenton Services of Denver is on a mission to educate, prepare, and empower teen mothers and their children to become productive members of the community. The organization has been serving women and their children for more than 120 years and continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of the community. They focus on the academic, physical, and mental success of these young women as individuals and as parents by providing education, supplies, and the necessary services to ensure success. A critical part of their focus includes preparing children socially, emotionally and cognitively for kindergarten. In 2016, the RAR program was available to 150 infants and toddlers at Florence Crittenton Services of Denver.

The RAR program is introduced to the mothers when their babies are just 6 weeks old. Young mothers often express concern about looking or feeling silly when reading aloud. Staff at Florence Crittenton Services host quarterly literacy luncheons where they demonstrate book sharing methods and practices to work towards breaking down barriers to help moms grow more comfortable reading out loud with their babies. Exposure to the program when their babies are so young has been a successful way to help encourage engagement and interaction which benefits mom and baby alike.

For toddlers, RAR is included in the curriculum of the children as an in-class activity. While the red bags stay in the class, they are rotated weekly so children are exposed to different books at each visit. Mothers are encouraged to stay and read in the comfy book corner with their child during the beginning or end of class. As with every successful RAR program, the children drive the process and their excitement motivates the mothers to read and share the stories. One mother had this to say about the program, “Raising A Reader has brought so much creativity to me and my son. His vocabulary has improved drastically since he started the Raising a Reader program in September 2016. Raising A Reader made my son see the fun, skills and the importance in reading books.” Another little girl was so excited about the books in the bag that she would exchange them three times a week! Families also have weekly visits from the public library to encourage the mothers to continue the book sharing outside of their classes at Florence Crittenton.

Florence Crittenton Services of Denver is a true testament of how the Raising A Reader program can be scaled to fit the needs of the families being served. With your support, we will continue the good work of bringing our proven literacy program to more families across the US. 

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Raising A Reader is implemented across the country at a variety of agencies. Make Way for Books (MWFB) is an early literacy organization in Tucson, Arizona that understands access to books is essential to developing basic reading skills, leads to longer and more frequent shared reading between parents and children, and produces increased enjoyment of books and improved attitude towards reading and academics. They have been utilizing the Raising A Reader program to fulfill their mission and have a positive impact on the families in their community. Each year, MWFB serves more than 30,000 children and families and 700 educators.

We'd like to share a story about a boy named Silas. Silas and his mom Melissa have been participating in the Raising A Reader program through Make Way for Books for three cycles. She had these incredible words to share about Silas' experience with his educator, Fernando:

"Silas is so excited to bring home his bag of books and when people come over her likes to drag his bag across the living room and into someone's lap to have them read to him. Every Friday when I tell him its time for book club he gets so excited to go.

What I have not told you is that Silas was born prematurely and is a bit slower than other kids his age, but I think this program is helping him reach the goals that we are striving for [in his development]. I think that one of the reasons why we love coming to Raising A Reader so much is your staff. Fernando Gonzalez is an amazing person!!! He has been at all our book clubs that we have attended with you and Silas loves him. When we were at our 1st session Silas was shy and did not want to go to other people; however, he warmed right up to Fernando and wanted to be with him all the time.

Fernando is such a kind loving person to the kids at book club and helps the parents understand why the things he says helps our children. He is excellent at teaching us parents new techniques to work on with our children and that it’s ok for us to get frustrated when our children don't do what we expect them to do. He is very helpful in us understanding why our children act the way they do and in helping us to learn how to get them motivated to do the activities we are attempting. Every child in our group loves Fernando as do the parents! Thank you for having such a wonderful employee, and for allowing him to be a part of our children's lives, Silas says thanks too!!!"

It is stories like these, and children like Silas, that demonstrated the impact reading and family engagement can have on a child. Raising A Reader is proud of the remarkable work Make Way for Books is carrying out, and grateful for staff like Fernando who truly care and live the mission of both Make Way for Books and Raising A Reader.

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Just over five years ago Calhoun Intermediate School District (Calhoun ISD) brought Raising A Reader (RAR) to the Battle Creek, Michigan community. The program has grown from 20 sites to 90, reaching 6,030 children. While the main focus of Calhoun ISD’s RAR program is reaching children 0-5 years old, they have expanded to serve children through the second grade in after school programs.

Calhoun ISD serves a large number of Burmese families who have moved to the area in the last few years as refugees along with a large number of Japanese families who are in Battle Creek for temporary work assignments. In fact, with RAR’s help Calhoun ISD has been able to provide a selection of books published in both English and Burmese in addition to RAR books that have been translated with the help of local Burmese organizations. The Burmese text is added to the books on clear labels which are adhered to each page next to the English text. These Burmese books are now rotated within the majority of locations.

The amazing work being done in Battle Creek has truly been that of a community effort.

A local Lion’s Club hosts an annual spaghetti dinner to benefit RAR in their community. It was at this dinner that a gentleman from the club made an introduction of the RAR coordinator to his wife, a bus aide for a special needs school bus. This connection led the students on her bus to now receive the RAR program.

A mother, whose two daughters participated in RAR, was such a fan of the program that she joined the team at Calhoun ISD to help further the work being done in the community. Her oldest daughter received a special award for reading more books than anyone else in her class, while her youngest daughter delights in reading her memorized favorite “The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear.” The staff at Calhoun ISD feels so strongly about RAR, not only because of the community involvement and family enjoyment, but because they have four years of data proving that it is having a positive and beneficial impact for the families of over 6,000 children.

The community involvement in Battle Creek has helped strengthen the integrity of RAR and maximize its reach. Calhoun Intermediate School District strives to reach all families and cultures in the community and look forward to what the future holds.
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Organization Information

Raising A Reader

Location: Milpitas, CA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @RARnational
Project Leader:
Noelle Colomé
Milpitas , California United States
$56,743 raised of $100,000 goal
1,366 donations
$43,257 to go
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