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Raising A Reader


What it is:

Raising A Reader is an evidence-based early literacy program that helps families of young children (birth through age five) develop, practice, and maintain habits of reading together at home. Our core program model, which both increases access to books and offers support for strengthening the culture of reading at home, is driven by 25 years of research that show the most significant factor impacting a child’s academic success is being regularly read to by a parent or other primary adult caregiver before starting kindergarten. The following video highlights the Raising A Reader program that Child Care Action Council implements over a three county region in Washington State (Thurston, Mason & Grays Harbor counties):


Our goal:

Our goal is to end the cycle of low literacy by helping families across Thurston, Grays Harbor and Mason counties, develop high-impact home reading routines that lay the groundwork for a lifetime of learning, success, and productive, responsible citizenship.



How it works:

Bright red book bags filled with beautiful picture books are rotated weekly among families. Over 200 literary-acclaimed books featuring appealing artwork, age-appropriate language and multicultural themes are part of this program. Children bring home the red bags and enthusiastically draw their families into sharing books with them.


The Proof:

It’s working. Over ten years of data repeatedly shows that Raising A Reader’s unique program not only engages families, and builds kindergarten readiness skills, but is cost effective and scalable. Children and families fall in love with reading together through Raising A Reader and share a very special bonding time.
Some numbers we like:
  • 75% increase in the number of parents who shared books with children five or more times per week (Norfolk, VA; 2004)

  • 68% of RAR children made significant gains in vocabulary based on the Pre and Post Growth Scale (GSV) while control groups showed only 39% of non-RAR children making significant gains (Fayetteville State University , 2014)

  • In comparison to non-RAR children, RAR children scored 4.6 points higher on letter identification (based on a 54-point Likert scale), 4.6 points higher on sound identification (based on a 54-point Likert scale), 5.1 points higher on concepts of print (based on a 22-point Likert scale), and 1.4 points higher on Clay Read (based on a 22-point Likert scale). (Calhoun Intermediate School District, CA 2013)

  • By grade 3, children with a RAR background and support from the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) significantly outscored non-RAR/CPP children on literacy proficiency. Only 27% of RAR/CCP third graders tested in the low literacy category. (Garfield 16 School District, CO 2013)

  • At the start of the program, less than half of the participants (47%) indicated they had a reading routine with their child. By the end of the program, 86% of participants reported they had a reading routine established (Southwest Human Development, 2013)

Many more numbers can be found on the Raising A Reader site. >>Check it out

Getting Started With Raising A Reader:

We know! It is hard not to fall in love with this program. We are constantly trying to raise funds so that we can bring Raising A Reader to more centers, more children, and more families. Help us do that by donating to Child Care Action Council!

Currently, Child Care Action Council brings Raising A Reader to over 1,200 children through 42 different sites in Thurston, Mason, and Grays Harbor counties.

If you are a childcare center or family home daycare in Thurston, Mason or Grays Harbor counties, and you are interested in having Raising A Reader become part of your curriculum, contact our Raising A Reader program coordinator Jessica MacLeod at 360-786-8907 ext. 146 or email her at