March 12, 2019


I know that the weather has been pretty unforgiving across the country these past few months and I hope that this note finds you and your community safe and warm! We’ve had a busy winter at Raising A Reader (RAR), and I am eager to share three key highlights of the quarter with you.

  1. RAR is reaching more children than ever! In 2018, we served 137,500 children and their families through our network of 293 Affiliates. Nearly 70 percent of Affiliates completed the Annual Affiliate Check-In Survey this year.  We are grateful to you all for your participation.  Through the survey we gain valuable information about your communities and best practices. I am eager to report back on how we use your insights to strengthen the program model.
  2. National strategic planning process underway. In January, RAR’s national board of directors and I launched a multiyear strategic planning process to define our priorities, key innovations, and vision for the next three to five years. The five-month planning process will include input from members of the Affiliate Network and key community stakeholders. The plan is slated to be presented to the board in June at our annual retreat, and the team and I look forward to unveiling it to you over the summer.
  3. Our 20th anniversary campaign will kick off in March, National Reading Month.  2019 marks our 20th  anniversary providing family engagement and early literacy programming to children across the country. In the coming weeks you’ll learn more about our plans to celebrate which includes meaningful ways to involve Affiliates’ communities and will culminate in a network-wide event. Here is a preview of things to come as we launch our celebration – a feature podcast in the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Philanthropy Now series.

I’d love to hear from you and welcome the opportunity to connect online, by phone, or an in person visit. Thank you for all that you do for your communities and to enrich the RAR Affiliate Network.

Kindest regards,
Raising A Reader President and CEO

Affiliate Spotlight

Solano County Office of Education, CA

RAR is excited for the start of our partnership with the Solano County Office of Education and participating Quality Counts family child care homes and center-based programs! We look forward to being part of your mission to improve outcomes for the children of Solano County using evidence-based strategies.

First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission awarded the Solano County Office of Education with funding to implement RAR. For the 2018-19 program year, 20 Quality Counts sites will participate in RAR, allowing more than 500 children to take home a set of four books on a weekly basis to share with their families. Prior to this, in 2014 the RAR program was started with 137 children at the Solano Community College Early Learning Center.  We are thrilled to see multiple agencies partner together in Solano County, CA, to expand an existing program and take it to the next level.

A great example of community partnerships between multiple agencies!  Thank you, First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission, for your support!

Click here to read the full article.

Affiliate Portfolio

NEW Customer Service Model!

This year RAR National is implementing a new model to connect more regularly with our Affiliates.  We want to hear what works, what doesn’t work, what is going great, and how we can help you make your RAR Program even more robust and impactful.  Each Affiliate will be assigned to a Portfolio Manager, a member of the RAR staff, who will be their first line of contact.  Portfolio Managers will reach out a minimum of twice each year to communicate news from the National Office including upcoming trainings, new book collections, and other news.  This check-in time will also be used to share concerns (and success stories!) you have about your program, listen to ideas, and brainstorm solutions for any challenges.  We are here to help you reach your family engagement and early literacy goals.  In the next few weeks your Portfolio Manager will reach out to introduce themselves and set up a time to connect.  We look forward to speaking with you!

Coordinator Training

RAR welcomed a new class of Coordinators during our recent training, February 12-13, at our National Office in Redwood Shores, CA.

We enjoy meeting new people who are passionate about bringing the RAR Program into their communities and helping us affect positive change by furthering our mission to help families with children ages 0-8 develop, practice, and maintain the home-based literacy skills needed for school and life success!

If your organization has had a change in Coordinators and would like someone to attend our next New Coordinator training, register for our next training or see the events page on the Online Affiliate Network for upcoming dates.  The training is free.  Attendees are only responsible for their travel expenses.

Next training: April 2-3, 2019 in Glen Burnie, MD


Business Development

Missed a Business Development webinar?  Like our March 7 “What is the RAR Program and How Can I Bring It to My Community?” Visit our GoToStage Platform to register and view recordings of webinars we have hosted in the past. Feel free to share our link!

March 21: How Does RAR Align with Early Childhood Education Programs?
This one-hour webinar examines how the RAR model aligns with federal and state early childhood education (including PreK) initiatives, sources of funding, and steps to incorporate the program into your classrooms.


March 28: Building Strong Library Connections for Children and Families
Join us as we discuss a critical component to RAR’s Core Model: The Library Connection.  This webinar will open with a discussion on what libraries have to offer and why they should be considered strong community partners, followed by examples of how Affiliates around the country are building their library connections and Blue Bag events.  We will close with an opportunity for attendees to ask questions of RAR National staff as well as the Affiliate presenters.

Do you have a best practice for Library Connections that you wish to share?  Email your best practice to Tymisha Sweet ( by March 26th and be entered to win a special Coordinator gift!  All entries, and the raffle winner, will be announced on Facebook LIVE on March 27th at 9 AM PST/12 PM EST!

Sales Promotions

During the month of March, purchase a Japanese, Nepali, or 0-2 Portuguese Special Collection and receive 100 FREE Cricket Magazines (your choice of BabyBug, LadyBug, or Click).  Look for the coupon codes on the RAR shop website!

Now through May 30, 2019, refer a Smart Start, First Steps, First 5, or other state-wide birth to age five program that may be interested in starting our RAR Program. If the agency begins implementing our program by September 1, 2019, you will receive your choice of a Wordless Book Collection, Touch and Feel Book Collection, or 300 issues of BabyBug/LadyBug/Click magazines!

Updated Resources

NEW Customer Service Model!

Need information about the RAR Program to give to staff, board members, or community stakeholders?  Visit our main website and click on the “Resource Hub” to download flyers, see upcoming Business Development webinars, and access our Blog and Monthly Bookmark (both current and past issues).

In addition, our ordering site has a new resource tab as well! There you will find return/exchange forms, missing materials forms, our latest webinar recording on all the resources available on the Online Affiliate Network (OAN) as well as the process of ordering program materials, the RAR 2019 W-9, a link to our Parent Read Aloud Video available on our National RAR YouTube Channel, and other helpful items you may need when placing orders.


In Person Coordinator Training

April 2-3
Glen Burnie, MD
July 30-31
Redwood City, CA
Aug 6-7

Online Coordinator Training

Welcome to our New Affiliate!

Denton, MD
Caroline County Public Schools


February 2019

Get Involved

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Join the group of agencies that deliver the program to their communities.