program faqs

Our most frequently asked questions about Raising A Reader’s Programs are below.

For more information please reach out and call 650-489-0550 or

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How do I start a Raising A Reader program in my community?
Raising A Reader staff work closely with agencies to make sure that Raising A Reader fits with the needs of their organization. For more information on starting a program, please contact us at
What ages does this program serve?
Raising A Reader serves families with children from birth to eight years old.
How many children does RAR reach every year?
In 2019, Raising A Reader served 130,000 children from a diverse range of backgrounds and geographic locations across the country.
How much does it cost to implement RAR?
The program materials cost approximately $110/child to launch. This cost includes all books, materials, and technical support needed to implement the program with fidelity. As the materials are used year after year, the annual average cost per child served over a five-year period is approximately $40. Other costs may include a one-time affiliation fee and travel expenses to attend coordinator training.
How does this program differ from other nonprofit literacy programs?
In the landscape of nonprofit literacy programs there are three basic types:
  1. Book distribution organizations serve many children across the country by providing books for them to own. They are relatively low in cost to implement and are easy to scale; however, have limited outcome data. We don’t know if these programs are changing family behaviors or if there are any outcomes other than number of books owned.
  2. Home-based programs have staff that go to individual homes for education and support. There are very strong outcome data that accompany these programs; however, they are costly and difficult to scale.
  3. As a leader in Family Engagement programs, Raising A Reader fits right in the middle of this literacy organization spectrum. Raising A Reader has strong outcome data, is cost effective, and is also easy to scale.
How many books are children exposed to each program cycle?
On average, children share more than 100 books with their families each program cycle.
What is the average length of your program cycle?
The length of the program cycle depends on the needs of each individual program. For example, the program cycle could last just eight weeks in a summer program and more than 45 weeks in a year-round home visiting program.
In what kind of settings can your program be implemented?
Raising A Reader is implemented in a wide array of settings, including:
  • Home visiting programs
  • School, community or family child care center
  • Preschool programs
  • Before and after-school programs
  • Elementary schools
  • School district programs
  • State-wide early childhood programs
  • Libraries
  • Parenting programs (including teen parenting programs)
  • Faith-based programs
  • Adult-education programs
  • Workplace programs (as an employee benefit)
  • Subsidized housing communities
How many children do you need to start a program?
Raising A Reader programs serve as few as 15 families to more than 10,000. We recommend starting with a number that is comfortable for each agency.