Raising A Reader
Building Literacy in Our Communities
Imagine all of our preschoolers spending hours each week in a parent’s lap, reading their favorite storybooks together. Then envision these same children arriving at school, already in love with the printed page. Imagine Raising A Reader.
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 with their children. Each week, the bag is exchanged for a new set of books. Parents who complete the program receive five high-quality children’s books to keep.
Southwest Human Development offers the Raising A Reader program in schools, community centers and low-income apartment communities. 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%.