Program Overview

The Raising A Reader Book Bag – Pre-kindergarten program provides 2,000 children under the age of six with a weekly book bag filled with four age-appropriate books. Books are kept for a week, returned and then replaced with another four books ongoing throughout the school year. Children participate in 95 preschool classrooms from Aspen to Parachute.

The new Raising A Reader Book Bag Program for School-age Children now provides books for kindergarten and 1st grade children to take home each week. For these children, the red bags contain a mix of books for read-aloud time with parents and first readers for practice time. Key to the success of this program are workshops to assist parents with their engagement in the learn-to-read process at home.

The Raising A Reader Outreach program provides weekly book bags and parent education where at-risk children are not enrolled in preschool. Once per week, at six locations from Rifle to Basalt, small groups of parents and children spend 45 minutes with us reading stories, singing songs and – for parents – discussing strategies for literacy engagement at home.

Our Family Literacy Events teach parents about early literacy development. Parents learn how to turn any storybook into an exploration of pictures, concepts, personal experiences, conversations, word games, alphabet and the sounds of language. It’s easy and fun, and it provides a family bonding experience that also supports the social/emotional development of the child. More than 1,200 parents participate annually from Parachute to Aspen.

The Library Introduction program  helps Raising A Reader classrooms take a field trip each spring to their community’s library.  Last year, 822 children received their first library card attached to a new, blue Raising A Reader library book bag – a gift for each child to keep – during 72 library field trips coordinated by our staff.

Classroom Volunteers sign up to model love of books through regular read-aloud sessions in classrooms. Fifty (50) volunteers participate.