May 13, 2020

Spring has sprung, and our team has been busy developing resources to help Affiliates connect with families during the crisis.  In this Bookmark you’ll find new tools to connect with your library, digitally survey your parents, and remind families about caring for their Red Book Bag. There are links to educational webinars, and our book review includes a read-aloud of The Gruffalo by Michelle Obama. Read on for all that and more!

Happy Book Sharing,

Your RAR National Team

Network News

2020 Refreshers Are Here!

It’s that time of year! Raising A Reader is excited to release the 2020 Refresher Collection! Over 130 new titles have been hand-selected for 26 Refresher Sets, spanning ages 0-8.  If you would like to learn more about these beautiful additions, watch the recorded Town Hall meeting from May 8 where we reviewed the new collection in detail. Download our latest Product Catalog or visit our Ordering Site for more information.

 RAR PresentationUsing Culturally Responsive Children’s Books to Support Family Engagement

On May 5, RAR’s Rebecca Armstrong presented at the (virtual) National Smart Start Conference to help participants understand the importance of using culturally responsive children’s books as a tool to increase meaningful family engagement.

Our Warehouse is Open

If you are trying to meet a June budget deadline, prepare for your post-COVID-19 relaunch, or order some of the new Refresher sets, we are ready to fulfill your RAR material needs.  If you need help placing an order, feel free to call us at 650-489-0550.

Promising Practices

Reminder – Keep Your Red Book Bag Safe!
Many Affiliates have requested a flyer to ask families to keep their Red Book Bags in a safe place until further notice. We want to support your efforts to retrieve your bags and safeguard this valuable resource for next year’s classrooms. Click here for the flyer template in English and Spanish. Customize and send to your families with Red Book Bags at home.

Parent Pre/Post Survey – digital version now available!
Program evaluation is part of best practice. But what happens when you can’t distribute the paper copies of your parent survey? For those who use the RAR Retrospective survey, we have created a digital version through Google Docs in English and Spanish. This evaluation data is especially valuable for those who are applying for RAR program support grants and want to demonstrate the impact of your program.

Socially Distanced Library Connection
Our creative and innovative Affiliates have put on their thinking caps to come up with ways to connect to the library, even from a distance. With, or without the celebratory Blue Library Bag, it’s important to support the continuation of family reading routines that were established with the Red Book Bag rotation. Is it a virtual tour of the local library? Or a library card application and summer reading bag sent through the mail? Click here for more ideas to connect families to the library and keep up their reading routines.

Business Behind The Books

COVID-19 Fundraising Resources

Raising A Reader has created several fundraising tools for our Affiliates to use during times of financial uncertainty. We hope these tools will be useful to Affiliates and their local networks to ensure that local book sharing efforts continue to support a love of reading nationwide. View the COVID-19 Toolkit on our COVID-19 Webpage to learn more about these resources, including grant template language and a list of grants for your RAR program. For questions, please contact Heather Deno or Mikaela Houghton.

Research Roundup

When Children Are Not Read To at Home – The Million Word Gap*

Reading one book a day to your child can provide exposure to an estimated 78,000 words each year. Results suggest that home-based shared reading represents an important resource for closing the word gap.  Read the Abstract of the study here.

*(from the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: March 20, 2019, by Jessica A. R. Logan, PhD; Laura M. Justice PhD; Melike Yumuş PhD; Leydi Johana Chaparro-Moreno)

This month, we feature The Gruffalo from our Kinder English Foundation Set, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

It’s the story of a little mouse on a journey through the forest and his ingenuity in outsmarting fierce animals intent on making a meal out of him. To stop these plans, the little mouse weaves grand tales of the ferocious Gruffalo. But what happens when he actually meets the Gruffalo? The story is told using rhyming, which makes it a fun read aloud for children and adults alike.

Watch The Gruffalo read by Michelle Obama here.

Share with your parents: The Gruffalo Coloring Sheet. See More Gruffalo Activities here.

Welcome to our New Affiliate

Parshall, ND
Parshall Public School District #3
Parshall Elementary School is located on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota.  The on-campus Resource Center will offer the program to families with children 0-3, with plans to expand to more grades in the future. Welcome!

2020 RAR Webinars

June 18, 2:00 PM ET
Summer Webinar

All Upcoming 2020 Webinar Dates

Missed any of our webinars? Check out RAR’s GoToStage Channel!

Partner Resources: PD and E-Learning

May 13, 3:00 PM ET
NAFSCE: Connecting with Families with Special Needs Children

May 15, 1:00 PM ET
ESEA: Serving English Learners in a Distance Learning Environment

May 19, 3:00 PM ET
GLR:The Science of Reading, Part 2: Applying the Science in the Classroom 

Live with an Author- every Tuesday at 6pm ET
Raising A Reader Massachusetts is hosting weekly discussions with several New York Times best-selling authors from a variety of disciplines.  See the guest list and register here!

Get Involved

Support Raising A Reader

Make a donation today to increase reading habits for children and families.

Give us your time

There are opportunities to volunteer at our east coast and west coast offices.

Partner with us

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