By Jenna Nguyen | Manager of National Strategic Partnerships
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.
Project reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you can recieve an email when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports without donating.