July 10, 2018
Farewell to our Coordinators
We would like to recognize our RAR Coordinators who will be embarking on new adventures in retirement. Thank you for your hard work and dedication!
Pat Sasso 13+ years
Silicon Valley Community Foundation (CA)
Kim Heath 8+ years
Smart Start of Brunswick County (NC)
Nora Guerra 4 years
Oak Grove School District (CA)
Mary K. Long 4 years
Charles County Public Schools (MD)
Now available on the ordering site:
0-PreK and School Age Language Sampler Includes 5-10 bi-lingual titles to diversify your programming.
Curriculum Enhancer This specially curated collection aligns with several popular PreK curriculums.
15 Book Sampler of Special Collection Includes titles from our various special collections (i.e. financial literacy, special needs, STEM, and more).
Social Foundations Book Only Collection – Under the guidance of a board-certified clinical psychologist, this book collection is specifically designed to be uplifting, motivating, and encouraging for children experiencing life transitions, particularly those in foster care, CASA, homelessness, or other situations where self-confidence and hope needs a boost.
STEAM Book Only Collection – This book collection expands the STEM books by adding Arts into the mix. Research shows that early experience with creative arts supports cognitive development and increases self-esteem. A creative mindset is critical for STEM thinking; by adding art, music, and other sensory-exploration books into the mix, a large portion of many state and federal Early Learning Outcomes Frameworks (ELOF) can be met.
Business Behind the Books
Using Lean Thinking to sustain your RAR program
“Lean thinking”, a business method first introduced after studying Toyota’s production system, provides a different way of thinking regarding the best of organizing human activities that can deliver more benefits to society and value to individuals while eliminating waste. For RAR programs, understanding this philosophy and learning how to incorporate it into your organization is crucial in today’s ever tightening budgets and shortage of staff and volunteers.
The concepts behind Lean Thinking uses the philosophy of kaizen, meaning “good change” in Japanese. Using this philosophy (credited to Dr. W. Edwards Deming who helped Japanese industrial leaders and engineers rebuild Japan after WWII) organizations can create sustainable approaches that work systemically to achieve small, incremental changes in processes that improve efficiency and quality, while at the same time reduces waste by improving standardized activities and processes. “Lean Thinking” means doing more with less, using the least amount of effort, energy, equipment, time, facility space, materials, and capital, while giving customers (i.e, families, schools, organizations) EXACTLY what they want, instead of what we think they want. Thinking in terms of increasing productivity that also increases efficiency over time is a mindshift, especially for nonprofits not accustomed to improving upon business models.
For instance, one of the steps in Lean Thinking is to understand the flow of how the RAR program is implemented and delivered to your children and families. Write out all the steps needed to successfully deliver RAR, then think about the following:
• What are your barriers?
• What slows things down?
• Do you have good variety of offerings?
• Are there inconsistencies? What are they?
• Is there transparency of the process?
• Can you make the process more simple?
• Is everyone on the same page?
Here at Raising A Reader, we are using this process to improve ways in which Affiliates order materials from us; removing passwords from our order site which now allows anyone from affiliate organizations to order materials rather than limiting to Coordinators, reorganizing the order site to allow quicker ordering of materials, providing updated product pricing catalogs and webinars that outline our products and order process, offering book collections that align more closely to affiliate curriculum guides or other mandates, providing quotes, phone orders, and samples that allow affiliates to make better purchasing decisions are all examples of our continuous improvement in this area. Even with these improvements, we still are continuously looking through our “Lean Glasses” at ways to improve efficiencies that at the same time INCREASE customer satisfaction.
Interested in learning more about Lean Thinking and how you can use the concepts to improve your RAR program? Sign up for the August 3 webinar. Can’t attend? No worries – register to receive a link to the recording to watch at your convenience HERE!
Missed last week’s webinar about our products and ordering process? Watch the recording and obtain handouts/downloads HERE.
Online Coordinator Training
A veteran affiliate, Raising A Reader Massachusetts (RAR MA) serves more than 11,000 children across the Greater Boston area and beyond. Serving families in a diverse range of implementation settings, RAR MA developed family education curricula that is customized for the needs of each site/setting. Grounded in research on dialogic reading and best practices in family engagement, RAR MA’s family workshops provide families with research, modeling and practical ways to incorporate shared reading strategies, such as “asking good questions,” into their daily reading routines.
Check out RAR MA’s curricula on the Online Affiliate Network here. For more information, and to see RAR MA’s website, go to www.raisingareaderma.org.
Interested in materials you can distribute to children during summer or other holiday breaks, used as “out-of-school-time” activities, or given away during Blue Bag Events? Click, LadyBug and BabyBug booklets are wonderful reading material that children can keep and share with families and caregivers.Several titles align with many popular PreK curriculum programs.
Click Booklets are STEM themed and appropriate for ages 3-6, LadyBug booklets are appropriate for ages 3-6 as well but more focused on storytelling and activities, and BabyBug booklets are appropriate for ages 0-2. LadyBug and BabyBug booklets are also available in Spanish. Cricket Media retails these items for $6.95 each, but with a special offering through Raising a Reader, you can purchase 100 booklets for $75. Reach out to Heather Deno, Director of Business Development and Brand, for more information or to request a sample of the booklet you are interested in. You can also purchase these items directly on the RAR order site HERE.