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Raising a Reader

Who We Are

Helping families with children from birth to age eight develop, practice and maintain home literacy habits essential for school and life success.

The research is clear — when families are meaningfully involved, children’s academic achievement improves.

Our proven, award-winning program helps families:

• Understand why sharing books regularly matters

• Excite children and families with award-winning books each week that build the book sharing routine

• Establish connections to libraries to maintain literacy habits at home

Raising A Reader’s mission is to engage caregivers in a routine of book sharing with their children from birth through age eight to foster healthy brain development, healthy relationships, a love of reading, and the literacy skills critical for school success.

Through a network of more than 239 locations, PVUSD Raising A Reader reaches more than 4,000 children and families each year. Since our inception in 2006, we have helped more than 23,238 families build and maintain reading routines in their homes, with special attention to those at highest-risk for educational failure.

What is the Goal of Raising a Reader?

Raising A Reader’s mission is to give every child an equal opportunity at life success by promoting daily book sharing between parents and their young children. Raising A Reader is a take-home book bag program, which successfully reaches the toughest, most critical population: low income families where parents are poor readers or do not speak English well. It targets the first five years of life, a vital development window when 90% of brain growth occurs.

How Does Raising a Reader Work?

Raising A Reader is a “take-home” book bag program, implemented through child care settings via a ready-to-use Classroom Kit. The unique design and delivery system makes this pre-literacy program easy and enjoyable for even busy, stressed families. The program creates magic that inspires even the non-reading or limited English-speaking family to engage with their child around a book and fall in love with reading.

Bright red book bags filled with beautiful picture books are rotated weekly among families. Over 100 literary-acclaimed books featuring appealing artwork, age-appropriate language and multicultural themes are part of this program. Children bring home the red bags and enthusiastically draw their families into sharing books with them.

The Classroom Kit includes tools for fun engagement tools that include our award-winning Read Aloud: Share a Book With Me video, available in eight languages,, and a matching bright blue “My Library Book Bag” that is given to each child to keep for frequent trips to the library. The program’s impact is sustained over time through on-going training opportunities for participants and links to libraries.

Raising A Reader
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Raising a Reader