July 16, 2021

Dear  Raising  A Reader  Family,    

We hope that the July Bookmark finds you and your community  well.   While the families that we serve are enjoying  long summer days, we are busily gearing up for the school year ahead.   Programs across the country are planning a return to the Red Book Bag rotation of our Classic Model or the implementation of our Family Shared Reading Program.    Whichever program you  choose, Raising A Reader  has prepared the July Bookmark with information, resources and tools to support  your implementation.   From the upcoming Coordinator Training to new material offerings, read on to learn more!      

As we prepare with anticipation for the school and program year ahead, we also want to take a moment to recognize and thank you, our intrepid leaders across the country, who heeded the call during one of the most critical times in our history.    Because of your leadership and ingenuity throughout the last 18 months, many of our families are coming out of the COVID 19 pandemic feeling more supported than ever from their communities.    We are in awe of your perseverance and look forward to our work together in the coming program year.  

Happy Book Sharing,    

The Raising A Reader National Team  

Network News

Calling All Coordinators!   August Virtual Coordinator Training is Almost Here!

Calling All Coordinators! The third cohort of our new Virtual Coordinator Training begins August 2 with 4-weeks of self-paced course work and weekly live sessions. Each week, participants will work independently to complete a 60–90-minute module prior to attending a 75-minute virtual live session each Thursday with RAR staff and the other participants. Watch this video for an overview of the training.

Per our train-the-trainer model, this 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. No Implementers, please.

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.

Virtual Coordinator Training: August 2 – 26: Register here.
Registration closes Monday, August 2 at 5 pm PT.

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.


July Town Hall

Have you heard?   Raising A Reader has partnered up with Ready4K, an evidence-based family engagement curriculum delivered via text message and Worldreader, a global digital reading program.   Join us to learn about these programs and others, their alignment to Raising A Reader, and how you and your families can participate for School Year 21-22!   Need to register?

Click here to register for this exciting Town Hall.


Get Ready for Back to School!  

It’s that time of year! Time to get back-to-school ready! Raising A Reader has all the materials you need to help you get ready for the school year ahead! Let’s take a look.

Super Summer Learning Adventures:   It’s not too late to order SSLA packs to support family learning time.   Schools, Head Starts and family programs across the country are using the Super Summer Learning Adventures program to support the transition back to school as well as home-based learning materials to be used during the school year.

Raising A Reader Classic Model:

  • Replacement Sets: Have you experienced a loss of materials due to COVID 19?   RAR has a selection of special Replacement Sets offered at deep discounts to help you replenish your Red Book Bag materials and get ready for rotation!
  • Plastic Bags:   These are offered to support Affiliates who assign a Red Book Bag to a child and rotate books in plastic bags.   These plastic bags have the Raising A Reader logo and a large space for writing.

Family Shared Reading Program:  The Family Shared Reading Program was designed to build home libraries, connect families with schools and educational settings as well as the community.   This “take-home” program consists of 6-10 books, a Journal and Family Materials (Family Guide or Family Learning Calendar).   The Family Shared Reading Program is a great way to complement the Red Book Bag rotation or is also effective as a standalone program.


Read With Malcolm Live Event

Meet READCamp* Head Coach, and Super Bowl Champion, Malcolm Mitchell in the second Facebook Live @readwithmalcolm. Join the fun, bring your questions. Thursday, July 29, 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET. Time approximate.

*READCamp, a summer reading challenge created by Share the Magic Foundation/Read with Malcolm, is a partner component of Raising A Reader’s Super Summer Learning Adventures.

Promising Practices

Super Summer implementation – Feedback From the Field

Alisal Unified School District (CA)

We purchased the Super Summer Learning Adventure Packs for our TK classrooms. Our purpose was to provide quality resources for our students to continue enjoying reading and solidify the knowledge and skills learned during the year. We distributed the bags as a gift to use during the summer break. Parents, students and teachers were thrilled with the packs! They loved all the components, especially the parent guide with activities! We will definitely consider purchasing them next summer. – Ana Cordero, Teacher on Special Assignment for Curriculum and Instruction, RAR Coordinator

Alum Rock Union Elementary School District (CA)

We distributed Super Summer Learning Packs to 200 children in TK, Kindergarten, First Grade, and children attending our Special Education Summer School. Our community partners like SOMOS Mayfair and Catholic Charities organized the distribution, and as families picked up their Super Summer Learning Packs, every child had a big smile on their precious faces! These Super Summer Learning Packs fulfill important goals for our school district, like:

  1. Engaging community stakeholders,
  2. Supporting all students including ELL and special needs,
  3. Providing high quality evidence-based materials that honor families’ home languages,
  4. Preparing all students for excellence in the 21st century with rigorous, challenging instructional programming and interventions.

– Dianna Ballesteros, Director of Early Learning, RAR Coordinator Click here to see what’s included in RAR’s Super Summer Learning Adventures and make it a part of your program!

Business Behind The Books

July is National Make a Difference for Children Month    

Here at RAR, we know that everyday educators, caregivers, volunteers, donors, and many other social and support systems contribute to making children and families’ lives better. We’re so thankful to you for spearheading and contributing to the Raising A Reader Program in your community and we support your goals this fall to serve more students than ever before. You may know of other nonprofits, daycares, schools, and community or family resource centers in your region that would benefit from RAR. Donors near and dear to RAR have, for a limited time, offered to give a 1:1 match for Super Summer Learning Adventures to select communities, including homebased daycare centers and family-friend-neighbor childcare providers, and we’d love to extend this opportunity to providers in your community making a difference. Contact Kristen Anderson today so that we can connect with these leaders and organizations! National Make a Difference for Children Month is based on the idea that one person can make a difference in the life of a child. If you know of any individuals or organizations who may qualify for the matching funds, please contact Kristen.


Discount Replacement Sets

We know that going back to Red Book Bag rotation may look a little different this year given your communities may have experienced some loss in materials. We have proudly extended the sale of our replacement sets to sustain classrooms affected by material loss due to the pandemic. Our replacement sets are affordable, bilingual, come in 0-2, 3-PreK, and school-age, and would be perfect to ensure every classroom has what it needs to return.  Visit our shop site and connect with us for a quote today!

Research Roundup

Raising A Reader was proud to partner with New America on their recently released report, Learning at Home While Under-Connected: Lower-Income Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The report was written by and based on research by Vikki Katz, associate professor at Rutgers University, and Victoria Rideout, president of VJR Consulting. It was accompanied by three community briefs from Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Santa Clara County, drawn from group discussions with parents recruited by Raising A Reader affiliates – Brilliant Detroit, Reading Ready Pittsburgh, Grail Family Services, and First 5 Santa Clara County – and led by Laura Zimmermann, consulting for New America. (View all four reports and the events page together here.) The report provides three conclusions and recommendations from the research:

  1. Make the under-connected a priority.
  2. Build on the relationships of parents and educators working together during the pandemic.
  3. Blend formal and informal learning in new ways.

On June 24, a national forum was held to launch the release of the report. Video from the event is now available and the conversation continues at #underconnected on Twitter.

FCC Seeks to Close Homework Gap with Funding Opportunity

During the national virtual forum, Acting Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, Jessica Rosenworcel, announced the Emergency Connectivity Fund, a $7.17 billion fund created to serve unmet digital needs of students through schools and libraries. The application process closes August 13. Click here for more information.

From the RAR Bookshelf

Summer days mean lots of time to play outside, but what do you do when it’s TOO hot? In One Hot Summer Day, by Nina Crews, a little girl finds ways to keep busy, no matter what the weather brings. What we like so much about this title is that it shares the author’s own lived experiences in such a vibrant way, invoking her childhood memories of summer. The photography Nina Crews uses to illustrate her story creatively weaves images, and imagination, and makes a picture walk through this book a true exploration! There are quite a few read alouds of One Hot Summer Day on YouTube, and we’ve chosen one here from Ms. Karina Johnson for you to enjoy!

RAR Webinars

Coordinator Training Now Virtual Registration Now Open for August and October

Town Halls Now Monthly Register here for July 30

Watch our recent videos:

Super Summer Learning Adventures Webinar

Family Shared Reading Webinar

FSRP Family Learning Circle App

Partner Resources: PD and E-Learning

Campaign  for Grade Level Reading Learning Tuesdays | 3 PM ET | Register here
National Family Support Network Webinar Wednesdays | 2:30 PM ET | Register here
*NEW* CGLR Learning Week | July 26-30 | Register here
NAFSCE/CAFE Home-School-Community Relationships Matter Webinar | July 27 | 3 PM ET | Register here
*Special Event* Virtual Parent Town Hall with the US Department of Education | July 29 | 8 PM ET | Register here