The Seattle Public Library

The Seattle Public Library

Serving the Seattle area for 10 years!

It is the mission of The Seattle Public Library (SPL) to bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community. So, when the library received a grant in 2006 to support their family engagement initiative, Raising A Reader (RAR) was an ideal fit. The library had very specific goals for the program around reaching more families; providing tools to parents and caregivers to support school readiness; and leveraging partnerships to maximize resources for the entire community

In 2007 The Seattle Public Library began the Raising A Reader program in 17 preschools, reaching 220 children. Since then, every step SPL has made with Raising A Reader involves slow and deliberate growth. They take their commitment to the program and families they serve seriously and are dedicated to ensuring the most impact.

SPL reaches children as young as 18 months by implementing RAR in home visiting programs, Early Head Start, preschools classrooms, and recently expanding into a handful of kindergarten classrooms. During their ten year relationship with RAR, SPL has seen the offerings of RAR expand and grow. They appreciate the continuous expansion of the Raising A Reader book collection, which currently includes high quality books in 15 different languages. Families in the community are able to see themselves reflected in the wide range of cultures, languages and literacy levels that are represented within the books.

The RAR program has become so visible in the community that families are reaching out to the library directly to see how they can get involved. One family whose child was participating in RAR contacted SPL. The mother ran her own home based day care and loved the program so much that she began programming RAR in her center as well!

In 2016, SPL serves 1,237 children age 18 months to 6 years old. They look to add 3-5 community partners annually and reach as many families as they can. Their success has been funded entirely by donations and grants received through The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

This year, SPL has also begun implementing I Am Raising A Reader, a six week out-of-school time program, piloting with 66 families. It is their goal to help prevent summer learning loss and keep supporting parents. Knowing that children will be the driving factor as bright red envelopes arrive addressed to them in the mail, SPL was also drawn to the accessibility of the program and ease of outreach and included evaluation. After receiving their first delivery, one family happily stated, “Alana told me ‘Mom it says my name on the envelope. It’s mail for me!’ She even read during dinner. Thanks to your program I have a little bookworm.” SPL is hoping to hold the I Am RAR program at least twice a year.

We are proud to have The Seattle Public Library implementing Raising A Reader with fidelity and look forward to what the future holds for the families in Seattle. If you are interested in getting involved in the Seattle area, email







As a parent the Raising a Reader program has made me more accountable to have to read everyday with my children. It’s exciting every evening my daughter running to get her bag. By me having a older child my son has been able to read to my daughter helping him with reading as well.

As a Parent, A 4 Apple Daycare

Implementing the Raising a Reader into our program at A 4 Apple Home Daycare/Preschool was one of the best decisions I made. After feed back from the parents I see the program has made the parents accountable at home letting them know literacy is important. The short dvd that is included in the bags is a good idea as well because it shows the parents different ways they could read to the children.

Overall every childcare should want to implement  the Raising a Reader program reading is a big part in early learning


As an Implementer, A 4 Apple Daycare