Literacy Programs for Children

by Raising A Reader

As families head back to school over the next month, parents will be trained on the importance of early literacy and children will get excited to take home a little red bag full of books each week.

With your support, over 1000 children and their families will participate in Raising A Reader this school year! Over the past year, Raising A Reader has built new collections including Exceptional Diversity and STEM, and has continuously seen statistically significant increases in the amount of time spent reading together and the amount of books read between adult and child in parent surveys. 

In New York, Head Start parents are raving about the program:

“The program is great. We read the books and then we discuss the stories together. We also love the fact they are bilingual.”  

“I really like the red bags and the books, we read every afternoon and since having the bags we read more often. We love having a variety of books.”

“I like the program and the books, my son knows his colors and he interprets the story on his own and tells me.”

Your continued support helps Raising A Reader families across the country develop, practice and maintain early learning skills crucial to future success. 

You truly are changing the lives of children and families in need.

Yours in book sharing,
The Raising A Reader Team


Battle Creek Home Visiting Program
Battle Creek Home Visiting Program

This story from a Raising A Reader program in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Battle Creek is now home to a large number of Burmese families who have moved to the area over the last few years as refugees. The community of Battle Creek wanted to make the new families in their community feel welcomed in the programs and services being received. When thinking about Raising A Reader, that meant bilingual books.

Some Battle Creek families are participating in Raising A Reader through a home visiting program. Family Coaches make weekly visits to families and provide the red bag filled with books. With the help of the National Office of Raising A Reader, the Family Coach can provide four books published in both English and Burmese in addition to the other books in the collection. The need is so high that Battle Creek translated an additional nine titles by adding Burmese text to the books on clear labels adhered to each page next to the English text.  When parents first saw books in their native language, some cried. Seeing children's book in Burmese made them feel like they belonged. From the success locally, the Burmese collection is now available nationwide for other affiliate RAR programs to use.

Your support helps Raising A Reader children and their families in Battle Creek and in 33 other states develop, practice and maintain early learning skills crucial to future success. 

Thank you for all that you do to support child literacy through Raising A Reader!

You truly are changing the lives of children and families in need.

Yours in book sharing
The Raising A Reader Team


Graduating from RAR with their very own book bags
Graduating from RAR with their very own book bags

As Raising A Reader embarks on 2015 the profound impact of donors on our work is more clear than ever before.

Our latest STEM fundraiser (currently half way to goal!) is just one perfect example of the power of donors to generate real change.

Spotlight on Monterey County, California
Another fantastic example is in Monterey County California, where a generous private donation helped launch Raising A Reader in local communities five years ago. Focusing on cities with low incomes and high literacy need Raising A Reader has grown each year since its inception in Monterey County in 2010 thanks to the continued generosity of local grantmakers and community foundations.

As a result of this support, Raising A Reader has reached a total of 6,100 children and families since 2010 in the cities of Salinas, Watsonville, King City and Seaside.

At 100+ books shared per child each year – that’s a lot of books in the hands of children who really need them!

In the photos you can see some of the children who have benefitted from Raising A Reader. These children are graduating from the program with their very own blue book bags to take home with them, filled with books from the Monterey Public Library where they've just signed up as members.

Recognizing the life changing possibilities of families developing home reading habits and the life-long impact of early literacy development on children and their families, visionary donors have been founding and piloting new Raising A Reader programs since the beginning 15 years ago.

As a supporter you are part of this journey!

Thank you as always for your visionary support of children and families whose lives will be changed exponentially thanks to your generosity, through the simple habit of sharing books together. 

Yours in book sharing,
The Raising A Reader Team


Some photos from Monterey County, California:

Dad helps fill out library membership forms
Dad helps fill out library membership forms
Handing in the form is an exciting process!
Handing in the form is an exciting process!
All the day
All the day's graduates celebrating together
Launching RAR With STEM in 2015
Launching RAR With STEM in 2015

Let us start by offering a heartfelt thank you to all of you who joined us with a donation over the holiday season. Thanks to an overwhelming show of support from each of you we starting 2015 strong, and ready to share the vital gift of literacy with even more children and families this year.

STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: the vital new Raising A Reader program

In 2015 Raising A Reader will launch a new STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) program for pre-K and Kindergarten children in low-income schools. Thanks to our STEM fundraiser over the Holiday season to enable 100 disadvantaged children access to this new program we have already begun talking to schools in California to launch a pilot at the beginning of the school year.

The support for this vital program has been nothing short of overwhelming!

By introducing STEM concepts at this early stage in each child’s development we can truly combat disadvantages in these fields. We will also introduce families – parents, caregivers and even siblings, cousins and extended family – to the importance of sharing in their child’s learning through reading together.

A generous local Silicon Valley-based corporation has pledged to also contribute to this pilot program in 2015. As a result we will be able to reach more than 300 children in our first year.

And this is just the beginning!

Thank you again for enabling Raising A Reader to start the new year strong.

I look forward to keeping you updated on STEM and similar developments as Raising A Reader continues to improve pathways and change lives through book sharing and your generosity!

With sincere gratitude,
The Raising A Reader Team


Engaging parents in children
Engaging parents in children's learning

Microsoft has just released another $175,000 in matching funds!

Don’t forget to give online today to double your impact on early child literacy. Together we can help more children succeed across the country through the simple joy of sharing books.

Remember Gifts for Good purchases will be matched like any other donation. Follow the link to see the beautiful, carefully selected children’s books in our collection.

As always, thank you for helping us reach children and families in need with life-changing book sharing and reading habits.


With Thanks,
The Raising A Reader Team

Ps. If you have already made your #GivingTuesday donation - thank you! Please share your generosity on Facebook and Twitter, and let's spread the word to give back!


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Organization Information

Raising A Reader

Location: Redwood City, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Raquel EspaƱa
Director, National Strategic Partnerships
Redwood City, California United States
2016 Year End Campaign
Time left to give
$41,203 raised of $70,000 goal
937 donations
$28,797 to go
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