April 15, 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!
Get Ready for RAR’s Super Summer Learning Adventures!
Summer learning loss? Stop! Kindergarten Readiness? Go! RAR’s Super Summer Learning Adventures 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 (email@example.com) 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.