October 15, 2019

The countdown is on for RAR’s 20th  Anniversary Celebration and National Institute!   For the first time, the National Institute is a  2-day event  filled with engaging plenary sessions, interactive workshops and opportunities for networking and peer learning.   This month’s Bookmark features a preview of the exciting opportunities and learning experiences that are being offered this year.   We hope that you can join us for this milestone event and celebration!  

Happy Book Sharing,    

RAR National Team    

Raising A Reader 2019 National Institute!

20 Years of Changing Children’s Lives Through Literacy  

We’re less than one month away from Institute and the opportunity to network with Affiliates and Strategic Partners from across the country. There’s still time to  register!  

What’s Ahead? Exhilarating plenary and workshop sessions,  networking opportunities,  premiere programs,  and an  inspiring commemoration of our 20 Year Anniversary!  

20th  Anniversary Celebratory Breakfast
Kicks off the 2019 National Institute  

 Join us on November 6 to Celebrate
20 Years of Changing  
Children’s Lives through Literacy!    

Keynote Speaker
Ralph Smith
Managing Director
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading  

Legacy of Literacy Awardees  
Masons of California *  Bezos Family Foundation  
Rick Jones Family Foundation *  Greenlight Fund

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
The Pullman San Francisco Bay Hotel
8:00 am Networking Breakfast  
8:45 am Program Begins  

Highlights of the 2019 National Institute  

  • Annual “State of the Bag” Address  – RAR CEO Michelle Torgerson will share Raising A Reader’s expansive three-year Strategic Plan.  
  • Plenary Sessions  â€“ Author/Educator  Tovi  Scruggs-Hussein  presents  â€œBe a Parent Champion: A Guide to Becoming a Partner with Your Child’s School” and Miriam Warren, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and  Belonging  at Yelp  discusses  â€œHow to Interrupt Biases and Become an Upstander.”  
  • Affiliate Workshop Sessions –  Featuring critical discussions addressing issues facing the field of early childhood and developing skills to improve local programming and practices that support children and families. Sessions feature members of our Affiliate Network and our Strategic Partners.  
  • Digital Partnership Pilot Program    Raising A Reader,  Ready4K and Khan Academy Kids share highlights of our newest partnership.  
  • RAR Expo  – Learn about our new book collections, program offerings and resources, and meet with various vendors and Affiliate  partners.  
  • Two days of networking with other RAR leaders from across the country!  

Raising A Reader Affiliate Awards  Luncheon  
Concludes the 2019 National Institute

RAR Affiliate  Awardees
Bismarck Public Schools
The North Carolina Partnership for Children
Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Raising A Reader Massachusetts

Reading Ready Pittsburgh
Seattle Public Library
Silicon Valley Community Foundation    

Thursday, November 7, 2019
Shoreway Ballroom | Sobrato Center for Nonprofits  

12:10 pm Lunch Buffet
12:30 pm Program Begins

We would love to have each Affiliate partner organization represented as we not only look back over the 20 years of service that  you  have given to your communities but to forge an even greater path forward toward our future. Registration is still open and there is still time to be a part of this  milestone event.  Contact us for scholarship opportunities to attend.    

RAR’s 2019 National Institute
November 6-7, 2019  
Sobrato Center for Nonprofits
330 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City, CA 94065  


View the Daily Schedule  for Institute.    

Affiliate Spotlight

Affiliates Share the Wealth (of Information) at Institute

We’re very excited to highlight members of our Affiliate Network chosen to present workshops during the National Institute. Here is a brief description of what our Affiliates are bringing to Institute:

Amanda Moon – Calhoun Intermediate School District

  • Building Community Literacy with Raising A Reader
    How can a parent/guardian read to their child when they cannot yet understand the dominant language in the country where they live? As a result, parents and grandparents often struggle to support the early literacy and learning needs of the young children in their families. This workshop will draw on the experience of working with a diverse community and blend experiential/hands on learning, small group sharing, and an introduction to some of the activities used to support all children and families, especially those with special language needs. Attendees will hear about the overall implementation of the RAR program, especially with Burmese families, and engage in honest conversation about what is working and where there is still room for expansion and improvement.  

Jennifer Robinson – Pajaro Valley Unified School District

  • Effective and Efficient Practices for RAR Coordinators, Implementers and Parents
    This workshop is inspired by the Japanese theory, Kaizen, which is continuous improvement throughout all aspect of life to increase efficiency and quality. Methods for accomplishing more in less time with less resources for Coordinators will be shared. Best practices from super implementers and parents from across Santa Cruz county and an interactive discussion about other strategies practiced throughout the country will conclude the workshop.

SaRonn Mitchell, Victoria Garcia Beeson and Diana Mata – Save the Children

  • Enhancing Raising A Reader Experiences for Children with Tools and Strategies that Further Promote Parent Engagement and STEM Concepts
    What happens to a Red Book Bag when it leaves your hands? How do you ensure that you are maximizing book-sharing experiences that support learning outcomes? During this workshop, we will reflect on how the Red Book Bags are being implemented in our pre-birth to five early learning and kindergarten-readiness programs, share strategies to better engage parents with their children by using Vroom’s Brain Building Basics, share strategies on how to incorporate STEM concepts, and experience what it means to bring a book to life, as well as share tools and strategies to compliment your current bag rotation and improve program deliverables. This session will be interactive and sure to spark joy into your existing RAR program. All session participants will receive a Swag Bag chocked-full of useful tools and resources to take back to your programs and share with families.

Lyndi Dewey and Amy McGee – YMCA of Greater Kansas City

  • Raising A Reader: Establishing a Presence in the Community
    We are firm believers in involving the community in our reading program and we work strategically to connect with individuals/organizations/programs that also benefit from their involvement with RAR. Our workshop will demonstrate our experience that it takes a village to establish a love of reading to children, their families and our community. We will expand upon how these community members have assisted in various ways and share future partnership projects. Throughout the workshop, attendees will develop an outreach plan they can implement within their own site. The workshop will end with a discussion and brainstorming session where we share ideas of what has worked, as well as suggestions of what each of us could implement in the future.

RAR Training and Webinars

Coordinator Training: Tuesday,  November 5 | 9:00 AM-4:00 PM PST
Have you signed up yet? It’s the final Coordinator training for 2019. For new Coordinators, or those who desire a refresher, Raising A Reader is conducting a Coordinator Bootcamp (one-day intensive training) on November 5 in conjunction with RAR’s National Institute, November 6 and 7, in Redwood City, California.  

If you plan to attend the 2019 National Institute in November, remember that you must sign up separately to take advantage of this free one-day intensive Coordinator Training, Sign up today!

Raising A Reader West Coast Office
330 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 147
Redwood City, CA 94065    

We also offer:  

Our three-hour Online Coordinator Training Webinar will provide you with a condensed version of our Coordinator Training. This webinar is not meant to replace our in-person training but provides an alternative so you can start implementing without delay.   Click here for the link to the  Online Coordinator Training Webinar.

Business Development Webinar:  Thursday, October 17 | 2:00-3:00 PM EDT
How the RAR Program Aligns with Creative Curriculum

This one-hour webinar will provide insight on how the RAR program aligns with the popular preschool curriculum program Creative Curriculum and how you can maximize the impact using RAR. Join us Thursday, October 17, at 2:00 pm EDT. Register here.

Attend the Creative Curriculum Webinar and receive a coupon code for $20 off the Curriculum Enhancer Book Collection. Coupon Expires December 31.

Winter Webinar:  Thursday, November 21 | 2:00-3:00 PM EST
(Topic TBA) Save your spot.

Missed any of our webinars this past year?   Visit our  GoToStage  platform to access the past two years of webinars RAR has hosted, both in programming and business development. Find the link  here.

If you have any additional questions about  Training or  Webinars, please contact us at  rarinquiry@raisingareader.org.

Red Bag Refresh Promotion Extended Thru October 31!

In celebration of our 20th  Anniversary, we are encouraging all Affiliates, Coordinators and Implementers, to replace greatly loved canvas Red Book Bags (pre 2017) with our newer, more durable version!   For every 100 Red Bags (with tags) that are ordered, you receive your choice of an English or Spanish Refresher!   This promotion is not available on our website, so please reach out to Marie Waldron, mwaldron@raisingareader.org, or Heather Deno, hdeno@raisingareader.org, to place your order!

Offer ends October 31. Refresh your Red Book Bags before this offer ends!

Institute Will Be A Celebration Because of You!

We are so thankful to our  Sponsors, Strategic Partners, and Vendors for their support of our 20th  Anniversary National Institute! A Partial list includes:









In Person Coordinator Training

November 5
Redwood City, CA

Online Coordinator Training


Coordinators: Be on the Lookout!
We’ve just begun our Fall Outreach. We want to connect with you regarding implementation and ways RAR can help! Look for an email or call from your RAR  Program Manager to invite you to a 15-20 minute phone conversation.