Raising a Reader

Raising a Reader is an exciting program that engages teachers, parents and children in reading at home to support family literacy and improve student learning outcomes. On December 13, 2011, the Board of Education approved an agreement with the nationally recognized Raising a Reader (RAR) program to implement this early literacy program in kindergarten classrooms.

Currently, we serve 16 schools and have expanded the program to first grades for a total of 81 classrooms and1,770 students. RAR is at Adams, Burbank, Carver, Central, Cherokee Point, Chollas-Mead, Clay, Franklin, Horton, Jefferson, Johnson, Joyner, Rodriguez, Rowan, Sherman and Valencia Park.

This program is possible through an initial donation from the Masons of California, which helped us launch the first RAR program at Central Elementary School in 8 kindergarten classrooms. Since then we have been able to offer this program with funds donated by Target Stores ($200,000) and the Jacobs Foundation ($33,000) and with continuous funding by the Masons of California.
What is Raising a Reader?
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 has served over 1 million children and families, nearly 75% of whom lived at or below the poverty level, and more than half of whom were English language learners.

How Does the Program Work?
Raising A Reader rotates bright red canvas bags filled with award-winning books into children’s homes on a weekly basis, exposing children on average to 75 different books per rotation cycle. RAR pairs this book rotation with parent training and information on how to effectively share books by creating a family ritual of daily reading in the home. Family support in daily reading helps children to increase their vocabulary, develop language and literacy skills, learn both common and uncommon information—all while instilling a love of learning. In addition to the reading skills taught in the classroom, children need both motivation and lots of meaningful practice to become fluent readers. RAR provides the following: