What We Do

When children are young, their eyes, ears and brains work together at an astonishing pace to begin making sense of the world. Reading to children during this time is key to building vocabulary and establishing the foundation for literacy and lifelong learning.

At Ready Readers, we send trained volunteers into classrooms in low-income communities to read aloud to preschoolers, sparking imaginations and building early literacy skills in preparation for kindergarten.

We stock classroom shelves with gift books and provide books for each child to keep and enjoy at home. Together with our community partners, we provide literacy-related experiences to extend kids’ love of reading beyond the classroom walls.


Why Our Work Matters

Studies show people with strong literacy skills are far less likely to live in poverty. Reading aloud to a child is the most important thing you can do to begin building those skills.

By exposing preschoolers to the written word, putting books in their hands and in their homes, and demonstrating again and again that reading is fun, we give children an early start on the lifelong path of literacy. And it’s working!

Research shows that children who participate in Ready Readers demonstrate gains in early literacy skills compared to students at similar sites without Ready Readers.

2017-18 Outcomes*

Children who say someone reads to them at school 96%96%
Children who pretended to read the book aloud 68%68%
Children who can identify written first names 88%88%

*Results after a year of Ready Readers programming (top bars) versus results from a comparison site, without Ready Readers (bottom bars).

What’s Happening