Who We Are
Raising A Reader (RAR) is a national nonprofit organization that has helped families successfully build and sustain literacy routines in their homes since 1999.
RAR operates through a robust network of over 2,500 community partners (including school systems, libraries and community agencies) across 32 states. Last year, the organization served 118,000 children and families, nearly 75% of whom lived at or below the poverty level, and more than half of whom were English language learners. Since its inception RAR has reached over 800,000 children throughout the country.
How Does the Program Work?
Raising A Reader rotates bright red bags filled with award-winning books into children's homes on a weekly basis, exposing children on average to over 100 books per rotation cycle. RAR pairs this book rotation with parent training and information on how to effectively share books to promote family literacy habits, language and literacy skills, and a love of learning. Families are also connected with their local public library and children receive a blue book bag at the end of the program to keep so that they can continue the practice of borrowing books and build a lifelong habit of reading. Raising A Reader is an evidence-based program that can be adapted to meet the diverse needs of communities and families. RAR's cost-efficient scalable model serves currently serves children from birth through Kindergarten and is being adapted to serve children through age 8.
What Are the Results?
Twenty independent evaluations have demonstrated significant increases in time families spend reading together and child language/literacy outcomes across diverse cultural and language demographics. Most recently, a large-scale experimental study by the University of Texas, Houston funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation demonstrated that RAR, coupled with additional parent-oriented activities found positive literacy impacts for low income English and Spanish speaking children.
In 2011, Raising A Reader was implemented at over 2,500 locations around the nation, through 162 affiliates.
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