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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Family Services, Health, Human Services, Literacy, Preschools, Public Health, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: Our mission is help families of children aged 0-8 develop, practice and maintain the home-based literacy routines necessary for school success.

Results: More than 20 independent evaluations have shown the success of Raising A Reader.  Evaluations have demonstrated: • 75 percent increase in the number of parents who shared books with children five or more times per week. (Norfolk, Va., 2004) • Raising A Reader five-year-olds in Head Start scored 69 percent higher in pre-reading and 59 percent higher in book knowledge than other Head Start five-year-old or older children. (San Francisco, Calif., 2003) • 337 percent increase in the percentage of Spanish-speaking parents taking their preschool children to the library at least once per month (Santa Clara County, Calif., 2001) Raising A Reader’s success and effectiveness has garnered the following national recognition: • Three-time recipient of Fast Company magazine’s “Social Capitalist Award.” • Highlighted as a “model early childhood family engagement program” during Congressional testimony by Harvard Family Research Project Executive Director, Dr. Heather Weiss. • Featured in distinguished national education writer Gene Maeroff’s book on high-quality parent involvement early childhood programs, Building Blocks: Making Children Successful in the Early Years.

Target demographics: Families with children birth through five years old.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Raising A Reader serves 110,000 children and families through our 2,500 affiliate sites across the U.S. Since our founding in 1999, we have reached more than 700,000 children

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Raising A Reader rotates bright red bags filled with award-winning books into children’s homes on a weekly basis. In the average program a child is exposed to approximately 100 books per year. Local teachers are trained in interactive “read-aloud” techniques that stimulate early brain development and language acquisition. Parents/guardians are then trained by those teachers. Through the program, families are also connected to their local public library. At the culmination of the program, children receive a blue library bag to keep and continue the practice of borrowing books.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Raising A Reader can be a vital connection between children and their parents & parents and teachers. Through the red bag rotations, it is a great way for new and interesting books to make way to the home to be experienced in various ways.