United Way News
Did you know that nearly half of the children entering Kindergarten in the United States lack the early reading skills needed for school success? Do you want to help the children in your care improve their literacy skills?
Raising a Reader rotates bright red bags filled with award-winning books into children’s homes on a weekly basis via their licensed child care provider. On average, a child in the program is exposed to approximately 100 books per year.
The program is free and available to all child care providers in Weld County. In addition to the bags of books, child care providers are trained in interactive “read-aloud” techniques that stimulate early brain development and language acquisition. They in turn train parents and caregivers of children in their care, emphasizing the importance of “book cuddling,” or the act of taking time out of the day to sit and bond with your child by sharing a love of books and the magic of storytelling.
Raising a Reader affiliates administer a parent survey developed and validated by Applied Survey Research, an external evaluator. The purpose of the instrument is to evaluate pre/post literacy behaviors in the homes of participating children. The survey contains items directly related to the program’s key aims, including measuring the number of books in the home, the frequency and length of time devoted to shared book reading, children’s level of engagement in the shared reading process, and prevalence and frequency of family library visits. Assessed benefits include significant improvements in family reading behavior, parent/child bonding, and Kindergarten readiness across diverse cultural and language demographics.
Goal 1: The minds and imaginations of children are engaged through reading books.
Goal 2: Parents/caregivers are taught the importance of reading and “book cuddling.”
Goal 3: Parents/caregivers and children are connected to community resources.
As of June 2013 over 300 children participated in the Raising a Reader program through three child care centers and ten home providers throughout Weld County.