November 12, 2020

Hello Affiliate Network,    

I hope this finds you in good health  and your communities in harmony. I am writing this to you the day after Veteran’s Day.  As the daughter and sister of war veterans, I know firsthand the sacrifices and lifelong impact that service men and women and their families endure.  I am sending all Veterans and family members of Veterans a special note of gratitude  and thanks  for your service  to America and protection of our democracy and freedoms.  Our democracy has taken center stage as Americans   turned out in record  numbers to cast their vote last week. While the  coverage  of the election has  largely been  focused on the differences in Americans based on how they cast their ballot,  we see  our fellow Americans  differently. We see  parents united in common  desire to do what is best for their children. We see leaders of school districts, Head Starts, and library systems across the country aligned in  a common purpose  to  help children  and families  thrive.  We are so grateful to  have you part of this vibrant and diligently focused national network!    

Wishing you all good health, and peace in your hearts as we move through  one of the more challenging  inflection points  of our lifetimes.  We  will  get through this together!  

In partnership,


Network News

Need An Order Before December 31?   If you are thinking about placing an order and anticipate delivery before December 31st, please keep the following dates and information in mind

  • Family Shared Reading Program (Fabulous Fall) orders placed and paid for (PO, Credit Card or Check) by December 4th  will be shipped out by December 31st*
  • RAR Core Model material orders placed and paid for (PO, Credit Card or Check) by December 11th  will be shipped out by December 31st*
  • If you are placing an order in December, please specify your holiday closures to ensure efficient delivery
    *Shipping guarantee is dependent upon availability of inventory

If you have any questions or need a quote, email us at!

Did I Miss the Annual Affiliate Check In Survey?  

We have decided to postpone the Annual Affiliate Check In survey this year due to the pandemic.   This year has not been a normal year to say the least and we understand Implementation may have looked different for many of you. Although we will not send out a survey, your Portfolio Manager will be scheduling a call with you to discuss your RAR program and to see if there is any way that we might better support you.   To show you our thanks for completing a check-in call, you will receive a $100 credit towards your next RAR purchase!   Be on the lookout for an email from you Portfolio Manager.

Learn About Raising A Reader’s Family Shared Reading Program!
November 18, 2020 | 10 AM PST/ 1 PM EST  

The Family Shared Reading Program is an innovative way to support family literacy habits, foster the connection with your families and empower Implementers and educators to connect virtually with families and the community.   Join us to learn more about this program innovation and how you can bring it to your community. Click here to register.

Promising Practices

Resuming Book Bag Rotation

Girl with red bag

Are you thinking about resuming your red bag rotation, or wondering just how you’ll do that when the time is right?   We’ve collected some great ideas and resources that can make that process safe and efficient!

The REALM Project provided information on how long the virus may survive on materials common to archives, libraries, and museums.   Based on that information, several sites have created rotation plans that allow bags to rest one week before redistribution. (If you’d like more detailed information, please contact us at ) To get their sites coordinators on board with safe rotation practices, RAR Aspen-to-Parachute created a 4-step guideline for best practices.   For families, San Luis Obispo COE created a bilingual guide to demonstrate safe reading routines at home.   Effective and clear communication is essential to keeping everyone safe and on the same page.   If you’ve created a resource that you’d like to share, please pass it along.

If you’ve lost some materials and need to replace some books and bags to start your rotation at full steam, there is still time to take advantage of our reduced-price Replacement Sets.  At half price, don’t miss the limited time opportunity!

Business Behind The Books

Beginners Guide to Funding Your RAR Program

During our Town Hall on 10/30, Mikaela Houghton, Raising A Reader National’s Manager of Affiliate Growth and Development, shared with our Affiliates a “Beginners Guide to Funding your RAR Program.” Mikaela discussed how Affiliates have historically found local, statewide, and national funds, and how using online fundraisers could be instrumental in getting the materials Affiliates need to expand or sustain programs. Missed the Town Hall and want to learn more? Contact Mikaela at or view additional fundraising, development, and marketing resources on the OAN.

RAR Affiliates Expanding Programs During COVID 19

Affiliates across the country are using this time to think about, plan and prepare for program expansion.   During the past month, Affiliates such as the Black Child Development Institute of Charlotte, NC have considered expansion.   BCDI Charlotte is writing a grant to bring RAR to 400 new students across 11 new schools.   Likewise, Somerset County Public Schools (MD), who received a grant to expand to 200 additional second-grade students, is making plans now to have a robust RAR program when schools reopen in Spring 2020.   We love hearing about these stories and helping to support Affiliates along the way!   Whether you would like to be connected to Affiliates who are expanding to learn more best practices, or have questions for our Programs & Partnerships team, we are happy to help!   If you need a quote or additional information to share with your team or administration, please reach out to us at

Research Roundup

Family Engagement Makes the Difference!

At the recent virtual Region 9 Head Start 2020 Family Engagement and Cultural Effectiveness Conference, the benefits of robust family engagement was center stage. Not that you didn’t already know this, as efforts to increase your organization’s outreach during these COVID times attest, engaging families is key. Studies show whether home- or center-based head start, high home involvement (family engagement) in conjunction with program involvement is key in achieving increased development for children and families. Prior study results show:

-Family engagement leads to better student teacher relationships.
-Student teacher relationships lead to improved student attitudes and performance.
Dearing, Kreider, & Weiss (2008)

Family engagement intervention significantly improved children’s:
-Social-emotional outcomes including attachment, initiative, and less anxiety/withdrawal
-Language, reading, and writing skills.
Sheridan and Colleagues (2010) & (2011)

Early Head Start family engagement leads to improved:
-Parent sensitivity and stimulation of cognitive development
-Child vocabulary, social competence, emotional regulation, and fewer problem behaviors.
Jeon, Kwon, Guss, & Horm (2020)

View the abstract related to the 2020 study in the Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Volume 53, 4th Quarter 2020, Pages 108-123, here.

Read more on Head Start’s National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (NCPFCE) framework and resources.

It is vital that parents know that they are an important part of the equation but also see in very plain language, the science, examples and resources that shows them why, and what they can do to impact their child’s development. RAR is here to support you in getting this messaging to parents and caregivers. Join us this Friday for our Town Hall Meeting for Part 2 of our family engagement workshop with Raising A Reader MA. Register here. You can also view Part 1 of our virtual family engagement workshop presentation video and slide deck. Detailed workshop agendas and resources can be found in our Going Back Plan Toolkit (Access is required. Contact us at

From the RAR Bookshelf

“The only true failure can come if you quit!” – Rosie’s Aunt, Rosie the Riveter

Common Sense gives 5 stars to  Rosie Revere, Engineer, the RAR Grade 1 STEM Collection title written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts about an aspiring engineer learning to keep on trying in this upbeat tale.

The following is a review written by Regan McMahon, for Common Sense Media: “Parents need to know that Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beaty, tells in lively rhyming verse the story of a second-grade girl who wants to be a great engineer. She loves making gadgets and tries to make a machine for her great-great-great-aunt so she can fly. There are wonderful lessons here about following your dreams and understanding that failure is part of the inventor’s (or engineer’s) process and that you only truly fail if you quit. And David Roberts’ spirited and funny illustrations offer lots to look at, especially on the pages where you see Rosie creating things from scattered parts and tools. A fun book for girls and boys, but girls especially will find a great role model in smart, industrious, determined Rosie.”

This is a great book for young creative builders! Please watch the dramatic read aloud of Rosie Revere, Engineer read by Miss Jill. For added impact for future inventors, scientists, and tinkerers, watch the read aloud from space! from astronaut Kate Rubins from the International Space Station.

Fabulous Fall
Town Hall

Join us for Raising A Reader’s Fabulous Fall Town Halls every Friday. Click here to register.

Partner Resources: PD and E-Learning

Campaign  for Grade Level Reading Learning Tuesdays Register here |   3 PM ET

Featured Resources