R.E.A.D. would like to extend its gratitude to Eileen Hanning, whose master's thesis in curriculum and instruction from Trinity University in Washington, DC served as the model for R.E.A.D. My Stories.
Our cornerstone program R.E.A.D. My Stories offers families in need an opportunity to choose and receive every month one new FREE book for each child in the household ages birth to five years old.
R.E.A.D. My Stories is similar in concept to other literacy programs; however, we have made five commitments we believe make our program unique.
We are committed to family choice. We believe that families are a child’s first and most important teacher, and we want to empower and honor their role in helping their child develop a lifelong love of reading. Plus, we believe parent choice will lead to child choice, and research indicates when children choose what they read, they read more. Families get to choose each month which book they want their child to receive from a list of five curated books.
We are committed to offering culturally relevant and diverse books. We believe all children and their narratives should be reflected in books. As Jackie Woodson recently said, "Reading can be a way of belonging. To open a book and see some part of yourself on the page makes you realize you are not alone, that somewhere in the world, maybe pretty close by, is something who feels, thinks, sees the world as you do.”
We are committed to offering bilingual and/or Spanish books. We believe offering native language choices builds trust with the families we serve and indicates our respect in their important role as their child’s first teacher. Plus, a book in a family’s native language helps to break down any barriers or resistance to reading aloud. At least two out of the five book selections each month will be bilingual and/or in Spanish.
We are committed to helping families go beyond reading the book. We believe reading means more than reciting the words on a page, but rather it means engaging a child in thoughtful dialogue and follow-up play and exploration that enhances and broadens the reading experience. Each book comes with bilingual tips and enrichment activities.
We are committed to educating families about the importance of reading. We believe if families know and understand the research about the importance of reading from the moment their children are born that they will make it a priority to read every day for 20 minutes. Each mailing includes a bookmark with a different research fact that is written for families to understand and implement.
R.E.A.D. My Stories
R.E.A.D. Family Stories
R.E.A.D. Family Stories is a quarterly reading playgroup for families participating in R.E.A.D. My Stories. Literacy-trained volunteers model read-aloud concepts and strategies, introduce fingerplays and songs, and emphasize the importance of reading to their children every day. Every family leaves with a new book to continue building their child's home library.
R.E.A.D. Community Bookshelves
In and effort to reach families in non-traditional settings, R.E.A.D. created R.E.A.D. Community Bookshelves. Currently, there are four bookshelves throughout Arlington where children can take a new, free, culturally diverse and inclusive book home. Click here to learn about more our community partners.
R.E.A.D. Our Stories
R.E.A.D. Our Stories will be a community-based family book club, offering families the opportunity to engage with one another through reading culturally relevant children's books and broadening our understanding of the many cultures in our community.