Imagine if you had never been read to. If you have children in your life, imagine if you had never read to them—because you had no access to books, because you couldn’t read yourself, because no one had ever told you it was important.
When I published The Swimming Pool, I wanted to repay some of the generosity that had been shown to me, and I specifically wanted to find a cause dedicated to literacy. When I found Raising a Reader, I knew I needed to look no further.
The simple habit of reading to a child is one of the most powerful ways to help that child become successful in life.
Gabrielle E. Miller, Ed.D., National Executive Director, Raising A Reader
RAR’s approach is basic and deeply effective: they train parents, many of whom were never read to as children themselves, about the importance of reading to children, and lend books to these young families on a weekly basis. They are even able to give illiterate parents tools to expose their children to books and reading. The results of early childhood reading are well-documented: children continue to reap the educational benefits all the way through high school and beyond, showing higher literacy rates, test scores, graduation rates and college attendance, and lower poverty rates.
At the same time, RAR gives each parent in their program something priceless: the simple joy of snuggling with their child and a book for a few moments of peaceful interaction. Every parent needs these experiences when she knows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that she is doing the right thing. This kind of parenting confidence has effects that reach far beyond story time.
Yes, books are powerful.
Thanks so much for considering this wonderful cause. I am involved with RAR Massachusetts, but it is a national organization as well. Please check out the links below for more about how you can help in your community.