April 14, 2021

Dear Raising A Reader Network,

April showers are bringing in a lot of activity at Raising A Reader!  From virtual Coordinator training to the debut of our Family Shared Reading Program and Super Summer Learning Adventures, Raising A Reader is excited to bring a season of innovation, program offering and learning to the network. Read on to learn more.

We hope you enjoy the April Bookmark!

RAR National

Network News

Get Ready for RAR’s Super Summer Learning Adventure!
Summer learning loss? Stop! Kindergarten Readiness? Go! RAR’s Super Summer Learning Adventure program develops and reinforces early learning skills through investigation, critical thinking, imagination and meaningful family experiences.   The Super Summer Learning Adventures kits contain six weeks of daily activities, books and learning tools that support learning recovery and school readiness through subjects such as language, literacy and math development, social-emotional learning and STEAM activities.   Contact us for more information!


April Brings Showers and Savings – New RAR Promo!
Purchase any Family Shared Reading Program offering by April 30 and receive a 10% discount on any future product purchase.*  Future purchase must be completed by July 31, 2021,  (3 month  window for use of discount) just in time to update your inventory for fall! Visit our shop site for more information.

*Discount  capped at $1,000 (or 10% off a $10k purchase).  


April Town Hall Meeting
Join us Friday, April 30,  as we discuss a critical component to RAR’s Classic Model:  Building Strong Library Connections During COVID and Beyond  an integral component to helping families sustain the habit of sharing books together and connecting them to community resources and support. We will discuss what libraries have to offer and why they should be considered strong community partners, followed by creative and unique  ways Affiliates are connecting families to the library, especially during COVID.    

Do you have a best practice for Library Connections or Blue Bag Events that you wish to share?   Email Tymisha Sweet (tsweet@raisingareader.org) by April 21 with your examples.  

Register for the April Town Hall  here.  


Virtual Coordinator Training
We’ve begun the second cohort of our new Virtual Coordinator Training. If you missed signing up for April, you have two more opportunities in 2021 to get receive in-depth Coordinator training that includes 4-weeks of self-paced course work and weekly live sessions. Watch this video for an overview of what you can expect during the course.

Per our train-the-trainer model, this training is focused on the Coordinator role and is not designed for Implementers of the program.  The training is specifically designed for program Coordinators from new Affiliates, Coordinators from established Affiliates who have recently taken on the Coordinator role, as well as any previously trained Coordinator who feels they would benefit from a refresher.

All live sessions for 2021 Virtual Coordinator Training take place on Thursdays during the 4-week training cycle: 12 pm PT | 1 pm MT | 2 pm CT | 3 pm ET.   See the side panel or visit our Events page on the Online Affiliate Network for future dates.

Course materials will be emailed to participants prior to training start date.

Promising Practices

San Mateo  County Libraries
The first full week of April celebrates National Library Week. We’ll celebrate our library affiliates throughout this month with a focus on librarians and library workers who facilitate learning all year long. Never has the support of libraries been more important than during this pandemic. They have kept us informed, aided families  and sought ways to keep the book sharing going through drop offs, virtual storytimes,  and partnerships with community providers.  

We are happy to  highlight  the return of  one such library  to our Affiliate Network. San Mateo County Libraries (SMCL,  CA)  was one of our very first partner organizations to rotate our Red Book Bags 21 years ago. SMCL is a group of 13 libraries serving their communities for over 100 years! SMCL oversees the RAR program for over 4,700  children at  112  sites across San Mateo County.  Welcome back San Mateo County Libraries! We look forward to supporting your communities  and sharing your best practices!  


Week of the Young Child
April is a busy month! It also includes the Week  of the Young Child, developed by the National Association for the Education of the Young Child  (NAEYC) to celebrate  young children and their families with hands-on, collaborative activities encouraging movement and healthy lifestyles.  Anson County Partnership for Children (NC) is sponsoring events throughout the month of April. See their schedule  of events  here.    

Let us know about your events during this very active month. We would love to highlight your program! Send your event information to rarinquiry@raisingareader.org.  

Business Behind The Books

Did You Know?
… April is National Financial Literacy Month, and RAR has the perfect collection to add to your Red Book Bags! Our Financial Literacy Collection includes 20 books for  our youngest learners to understand concepts such as responsible spending, saving and giving – as well as simple math concepts, like counting and adding. Is there a local bank, credit union  or financial entity in your community that would sponsor this  collection to give back to their  community?  Contact us for grant language, partnership introduction letters, and supplemental information about RAR you can share with local businesses to encourage and sustain a  successful partnership!    


Ordering for Spring
Raising A Reader is happy to provide a quote for any of your RAR materials configurations. You can also access our ordering site to place your orders. There you can learn more about Family Shared Reading Program, browse  our multicultural  and  bilingual book collections, and explore pricing for sustaining or expanding your RAR collections. Visit our shop site  and use our Product Catalog to learn more about our collections.  


Research Roundup

RISER Seeks to Lift Black Voices
“Black people and communities are under siege due to the two pandemics—COVID-19 and racism. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the historical and contemporary inequities that Black families and communities have experienced throughout their life course and their daily lives.

That’s the finding of  RISER, Researchers Investigating Sociocultural Equity and Race Network,  co-founded  by  Iheoma U. Iruka (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and  Stephanie M. Curenton. RISER works to publish research that is actionable, strengths-based, and focused on wellness promotion. Their report, the first national report of its kind, Black Parent Voices: Resilience in the Face of the Two Pandemics—COVID-19  and Racism,  unpacks how racism is  an environmental context that drives health and education  disparities for Black children, specifically across the child development trajectory from prenatal to age 8.  

The report illustrates how the pandemic is affecting Black families’ experiences with racism and discrimination, financial security/material hardship, health and mental health, and early care and education options.  See  the report findings and urgent policy recommendations  here.*  

RAR is  proud to be partnering with  Iheoma  Iruka  as an advisor on our Pediatrician Partnership for Racial Equity pilot. More to come on that project very soon!  

*Iruka, I. U., Curenton, S. M., Sims, J.,  Escayg, K.-A., Ibekwe-Okafor, N., &  RAPID-EC. (2021). Black Parent Voices: Resilience in the Face of the Two Pandemics—COVID-19  and Racism. Researchers Investigating Sociocultural Equity and Race (RISER) Network.  https://www.bu-ceed.org/riser-network.html


From the RAR Bookshelf

April is also Financial Literacy Month, as well as Mathematics Awareness. We’re featuring a title that is part of Raising A Reader’s Financial Literacy Book Collection. Lemonade in Winter is written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by G. Brian Karas.

Parents love that this story is immediately recognizable;  a  great idea (to kids),  is quickly infectious and bonding between siblings. For little  Pauline and baby brother John-John, a lemonade stand in winter sounds like a profitable venture despite the obvious obstacle–it’s wintertime. The story provides ample opportunities  for counting and financial analysis,  which  Pauline  and John-John both use as  teachable moments. It is a fun rhythmic read for children ages 3-7 and a cold reminder to parents that it’s very hard to keep a “great” idea down.  

 We found  several read aloud videos for  Lemonade in Winter  on YouTube.  Here you can watch  one by  Storytime Bunnies.  

Welcome New Affiliates!

Welcome to Lakes Country Services Cooperative in Fergus Falls, MN, providing services to nine counties. They are piloting RAR with the goal of increasing access to books and book sharing routines for families.

RAR also welcomes Ossining Union Free School District  in Westchester County, NY, serving 200 students (0-4 years old) with our classic model and Red Book Bag rotation.  

RAR Webinars

Coordinator Training Now Virtual
Registration Now Open for

Town Halls Now Monthly
Register here for April 30.

Watch our recent videos:
Family Shared Reading Webinar
FSRP Family Learning Circle App

Partner Resources: PD and E-Learning

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

National Family Support Network Webinar Wednesdays Register here | 2:30 PM ET