Raising A Reader mom: ‘It made a difference not just to Arlyn, but to my entire family’

Before the first homework assignment, quiz, or step into the classroom, a child’s learning experience begins at home. Southwest Human Development’s Raising A Reader program builds literacy within communities and is designed to aid parents in becoming their child’s first teacher.

Nora Chavero and her family embarked on a quest for literacy upon discovering Raising A Reader; however, their story wasn’t always a book-filled fairytale. Once upon a time, the Chavero household did not have a library card or many books within their home. Nora’s sons struggled in kindergarten and books were not a of interest.

When Raising A Reader became available in Nora’s church, helping her children with their homework shifted from a challenge to a positive experience. Nora’s 4-year-old daughter Arlyn became enamored and her love for books flourished.

Now, she and her family attend Raising A Reader classes weekly.

“They taught me new skills and I learned how to actually engage Arlyn through books and reading together,” Nora said.

Nora’s experiences with Arlyn have evolved beyond simply reading words; they utilize the illustrations as they talk about the story during their reading sessions.  As the weeks pass, Nora recognizes revolutionary changes within her children’s reading habits.

Rather than asking Nora or her brothers for story time, Arlyn often seeks out books and begins reading them herself. She has developed an excitement for literacy that can barely be contained.

“’Come on mom, there’s so many phonograms I need to know!’” Arlyn excitedly said to Nora before a Raising A Reader class.

Raising A Reader inspired Nora and her family to create a library within their own home. The collection holds special sentiment because the books were picked out as a family activity.

“It made a difference not just to Arlyn, but to my entire family,” Nora explained, “Because of [Raising A Reader] Arlyn is starting kindergarten this fall ready to learn. I’m so excited for her future.”

Learn more about Southwest Human Development’s early literacy programs at www.swhd.org/literacy.


All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care.  Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article.  You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance.  Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.