Southwest Human Development introduced Raising A Reader to Arizona in 2010. The national program is designed to educate parents about the importance of early literacy skills and how they can build these skills in their young children to help them enter school ready to learn.
Parents attend eight weekly early literacy workshops, and after each, they take home a bag of books to share together as a family. Each week, the bag is exchanged for a new set of books. Families who complete the program receive 12 high-quality children’s books to start their own home libraries.
Southwest Human Development offers the Raising A Reader program in schools, community centers, libraries, low-income apartment communities and other gathering places. The community-based format makes it an ideal venue for linking participants to local resources, while eliminating the need for transportation to receive this early literacy service.
A Proven Solution
Independent evaluations conducted at the national level show that parents reported a 471% increase in time spent sharing stories with their children (five or more times a week) and Spanish-speaking families increased library visits with their children by 300%.