Raising A Reader Aspen to Parachute

Raising A Reader Aspen to Parachute empowers parents with knowledge and resources to cultivate their child's brain development during the critical early years by reading books aloud to grow vocabulary, strengthen parent/child bonds, and foster a lifelong love of learning.

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Raising A Reader - Early Literacy and Family Engagement




Children birth to age 3
Infants/Babies (under age 5)
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged


Provides over 1400+ children under the age of six with a weekly book bag and four age-appropriate books. Books are kept for a week, returned and then replaced with another four books.
Children participate through our partnership with 55 preschool classrooms and 25 kindergarten classrooms from Aspen to Parachute. For low-income families whose children do not attend preschool, our five weekly neighborhood outreach sessions (called Bolsitas Rojas) engage parents and children at libraries, schools, churches or other community centers.
To ensure full and effective use of these weekly book bags, Raising A Reader facilitates over 50 group parent sessions each year to help families cultivate strong read-aloud and literacy development practices in their homes. Last year cumulative attendance at parent sessions exceeded 800.
In the spring, Raising A Reader Aspen to Parachute provides each group of children with an end-of-the-year field trip to their local library. Children receive the gift of a blue Raising A Reader library bag, their first library card, and the opportunity to check out books--many for the first time.


Evidence of Program's Success

• Read-aloud sessions: The average length of read-aloud sessions and time together with books increased by 30 percent for low-income families.
• Dialogic reading - Parents engage the child through questions and discussions about the book: The number of parents who took time to ask questions and encourage discussion increased by 31 percent during the school year and 57 percent for our low-income families.
• Child engagement in read-aloud sessions: The evaluation revealed a 29 percent increase in the number of times the child wanted to take the lead at home to read (from memory) a favorite story or make up their own story based on a book's pictures. In low-income families the increase was 50 percent.
• Parent-child activities that improve language skills: Other verbal activities such as cooking together, telling stories in the car, and singing together increased by 20 percent for low-income families.
• Library use: By spring, the number of parents who said they were likely to visit the library in the next two weeks increased by 13%. The number of parents who checked out children's books at the library increased by 13%.
• Kindergarten Engagement: The number of days parents read to their children per week increased 39% and the number of minutes spent reading each day increased 33%
• School Readiness (from Garfield Re2 Schools): Over the past two years, the number of Raising A Reader children testing at or above national standard for reading readiness exceeded the number of non-RAR children by seven percentage points. Among children testing well-below the national standard, fewer RAR kids, by nearly 8 percentage points, appeared in this category.

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