Bring Education Programs to Young Readers

by Raising A Reader
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Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Bring Education Programs to Young Readers
Raising A Reader Makes Learning Fun
Raising A Reader Makes Learning Fun

Dear Friend,

You subscribed to email updates from Provide Vital Literacy Programs for US Children by Raising A Reader, a project on GlobalGiving. Here's the unedited update from the field:

Raising A Reader Addresses Pandemic Learning Loss
By Noelle Colome - Director of Development and Communications

Dear Friends of Raising A Reader,

I have good news and I have bad news. I will start with the bad news...

This year, for the first time since the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests began tracking student achievement in the 1970s, children lost ground in math, and scores in reading fell by the largest margin in more than 30 years. Children from vulnerable backgrounds like those we serve, had the greatest declines.

Now more than ever, children and families need extra support like Raising A Reader provides to address pandemic related learning loss. Covid-19 continues to disrupt learning and teacher shortages are wide-spread. Children, caregivers, and educators report feeling burned out and stressed out.

We know that 90% of brain development occurs by age 5 and studies show that children who develop early literacy skills before starting school by reading books with caregivers, progress in school more easily and quickly.

Here's the good news…

Raising A Reader’s family engagement and early literacy programs offer proven, cost-effective, and easy-to-implement solutions. Thirty-nine independent program evaluations have shown that our programming provides statistically significant positive impacts on family home literacy environments and early reading skills. Bottom line, our programs help prepare children to become successful learners.

Raising A Reader is a national organization that partners with schools and community-based organizations across the country to prepare vulnerable young children to succeed in school and beyond. This past year, Oklahoma City Public School (OKCPS), expanded Raising A Reader from 3 to 34 schools. Now our program will be in place at every OKCPS school with Pre-K through 2nd grade.

“It’s just a really great program,” said Dr. Stephanie Hinton, Director of Early Childhood Education for OKCPS district.

“We’re creating routines and habits in the home that encourage lifelong learning. As educators, we’re always thinking about the ways that we can engage families in the academic process. With Raising a Reader, we’re going to be able to provide an ongoing connection around literacy development with the families. There is something very different and very unique about sitting down with a child and reading a story with them or to them. It nurtures that relationship and fosters a love of learning and of reading. We are raising future adults. The habits that we’re building through reading, through creating lifelong learners, to me, that will always be more valuable than a test score.”

Together, we can help children build home libraries and home reading routines that will set them up to succeed in school and beyond.

Thank you for your commitment to children’s education and for continuing to support Raising A Reader. 


Your friends at Raising A Reader

Raising A Reader Makes an Impact
Raising A Reader Makes an Impact
Raising A Reader's Family Shared Reading Program
Raising A Reader's Family Shared Reading Program


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Super Summer Learning Adventures Bilingual Packs
Super Summer Learning Adventures Bilingual Packs

Raising A Reader Beats the Summer Slide. 

Thanks to support like yours, we helped bring Raising A Reader to 150,000 children and families across 36 states during the school year. Our programs help young children prepare for kindergarten and become proficient readers by 3rd grade.  

School is out and incidences of COVID-19 are once again on the rise. Children ages 0-5, like those we serve, are still not eligible for vaccination. Studies show that language development among infants and toddlers has been negatively impacted during the pandemic and that PreK and Kindergarten enrollment is down. Now more than ever, children from low-income families like those we serve need fun, effective early learning opportunties over the summer.

To that end, Raising A Reader developed Super Summer Learning Adventures (SSLA) during the pandemic to activate summer learning, address pandemic related learning loss, and provide children with diverse high quality bilingual books they can keep. We include an interactive 6-week bilingual family guide with Common Core aligned daily strategies and activities to faciltate learning and a QR code to capture impact. All of our SSLA materials and resources are bilingual (English and Spanish). Studies show that when English Language Learners have the ability to read in their native language, dual language capacity increases. 

We stand firm in our unwavering commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and improving the lives of children in all communities across the United States. It is our belief that strengthening families and early literacy can be a cornerstone in creating equity and opportunity for all. 

We are so grateful for your support.   

Your Friends at Raising A Reader 


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Dad and child with RAR book bag
Dad and child with RAR book bag

Year In Review and a Look at 2022

Children are back at school in person and Raising A Reader (RAR) and our generous donors like you helped get them there, ready for success. 

Throughout last year, children and the caring adults in their lives read together in communities all across the United States. We are proud to have been part of building healthy brains, healthy relationships and home libraries.

The disparity gap continued to widen across the nation. RAR leaned in, listened and learned that educators, caregivers and children were really struggling. We responded with two new models: Super Summer Learning Adventures and Family Shared Reading Program. Both of these programs are bilingual (English and Spanish), build home libraries, support learning recovery, and address the increased social emotional issues that are disproportionately impacting the over 150,000 vulnerable children and their families we now serve each year. That is a 20% increase from 2020!

Every day we continue to activate engagement, build knowledge, and create connections that support children in developing early language and literacy skills. We know that by building routines around book sharing, children are more prepared for kindergarten, are less likely to struggle academically, and achievement gaps resulting from systemic racial injustice will narrow. 

This is the why behind our work.

Looking ahead, RAR is committed to a growth strategy that advances the field of early literacy by amplifying the voices and experiences of local families to inform early literacy strategies on a national scale. 

We are also investing in new pilots, such as our Race Equity Pediatric Pilot that connects pediatricians, preschool teachers and parents to increase literacy gains among vulnerable children. And, we just completed an audit of our diverse collection of over 3,000 books with titles in 13 languages. We are committed to ensuring that our books reflect the lived and shared experiences of the children and famlies who engage with Raising A Reader; 80% of whom are from low-income backgrounds and identify as people of color. Our books and curricula celebrate our children and families which fosters their love of reading and leads to future academic success!

Join with us as we continue to grow and build in communities all across the United States in 2022. 

With much appreciation, 

Your Friends at Raising A Reader


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Reaching Children During the Pandemic
Reaching Children During the Pandemic

Children are back at school!

Thanks to your support, Raising A Reader helped ease that transition for 150,000 children across the nation in 36 states! We are now reaching 15% more children and families across the US. All year long, children and caring adults read together with support from Raising A Reader. Our evidence-based programs help build healthy brains, strengthen relationships, and build the literacy skills to be ready for kindergarten and reading by 3rd grade. Building on the strength of our Classic Red Book Bag Rotation model, we rolled out two new programs to help families build home libraries and establish at home reading routines, Super Summer Learning Adventures and Family Shared Reading. These programs helped families build at home libraries, activate summer learning and reinforce shared literacy routines. Along with carefully selected bilingual books, we included a bilingual guide in English and Spanish with weekly exercises, activities and tips for reading with children ages 0-8.

We are excited to share that our new Family Shared Reading Program was just selected as a 2021 Library of Congress Best Practice Honoree. 

Here are some of the testimonials we have received this year:

  • “My husband passed away due to COVID and having the constant routine of opening the red book bags to escape into books offered my daughter and I a way to process and heal emotions."
  • "We look forward to the RAR book bags and stories, as reading the books with my children has helped with some of the deep emotions, we as a family are feeling now."
  • "Reading gives us a chance to end the day in an emotionally safe way, no matter what is going on in our world.

Across the nation, over 80% of children from low-income backgrounds are not ready for kindergarten, one of the greatest predictors of later school success. Over 80% of the families we serve are struggling to make ends meet and your support really makes a difference. Raising A Reader takes a village!

Throughout the pandemic we worked closely with our 285 Affiliates to safely implement RAR programs at nearly 3,000 local sites and developed 11 new Affiliate partnerships including the addition of Tribal Child Care. We continue to support them in helping their families in crisis during this difficult time, through monthly virtual Town Halls and our new social emotional curriculum for having age-appropriate conversations about sensitive topics.

We know that children across the nation do not have a level playing field. To that end, we have activated a Race Equity Agenda that provides us with a roadmap to ensure children of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and geographies have access to Raising A Reader. We recently conducted an audit of our book collection of over 3,000 titles with selections in 13 languages. We are making sure that our titles reflect the lived experiences of the populations we serve.

Your support has never been more critical if we are to stem learning loss and reach children who need it most with a program that gets results, is easy to implement and easy to scale.

We thank you for your past support. With your continued support, Raising A Reader can meet our goal of reaching 200,000 vulnerable children and families by 2022.


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From our community to yours, hello!

Inspired, hopeful, and energized are all words that come to mind when reflecting on the generosity of supporters like you, who share our commitment to helping families develop, practice, and maintain the home-based literacy routines essential for academic success.

As you may know, RAR is now in the second year of advancing a bold strategy for growth to serve 200,000 children annually by the end of 2022. In addition to adding innovative new features to our current program offerings, we will continue to prioritize engaging under-resourced communities and low-income families while also strengthening the effectiveness of our programs through an increased focus on racial equity.

This summer has been a summer like no other. With data from our partners like EdTrust and New America (below), stories, and input from the field, we keep learning more about the issues facing the communities we serve and how best to serve those benefiting from our Affiliates. Although these data points share a small story of how the pandemic has affected the families we serve we know that there is much more we will learn in the months and years ahead.

-       More than 60% of parents worry that their child will fall behind when they start kindergarten.

-       For families below poverty level, 69% reported barriers existed to their child accessing online supports, such as their computer runs too slow, while 61% said their internet was too slow

-       66% of Hispanic parents survived, and 56% of Black parents survived commented tech-related disruptions in learning – further widening the racial gap in the United States

Throughout our learnings, we have proudly discovered how to continue to provide resources families need, including social-emotional supports, materials in Spanish and English, and resources to support students and their families who will be entering school for the first time this fall. Your recent donation not only supported our mission through our classic model but also Super Summer Learning Adventures. Formed from research from the field, like those above - this summer, we aim to serve 40,000 students by developing and reinforcing early learning skills through investigation, critical thinking, imagination, and meaningful family experiences with this offering. Families have been equipped with bilingual reading materials, a bilingual family guide with six weeks of daily learning activities, a reading journal, access to a digital book library, and other hands-on learning materials. This program supports families in preparing their children for the school year ahead and offers optional program enhancements, including a family guide to supporting social-emotional growth in children and other items like cozy stuffed animals and a sturdy backpack to start the new school year.

As we navigate the shifts in our education system, we look forward to a continued collective effort that empowers families and creates successful learning environments for all children. Your support of our mission has helped us tremendously– and from all of us, thank you!

Raising A Reader

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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
$33,028 raised of $50,000 goal
474 donations
$16,972 to go
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