This is a program that has been offered at Saint Vincent’s for approximately three years. Raising-a-Reader is important for both the children and their parents.
Each week the children “check out” books in English, Spanish or Mandarin to take home for their parents to read with them. The parents sign a contract indicating they are willing to support this program and return the books weekly.
Each classroom, toddler’s through Pre-K II, are given bags with three to five books for each child enrolled in the class that is age and developmentally appropriate. Every child is encouraged to check out and take home a different bag each week until they have taken home each bag.
The children often share with the teachers how the books were used at home. Many of the books are duplications of the books in the Day Home library and in the child’s class, so the children are able to share their favorite books with their families.
Four times a year, a representative of Raising-a-Reader comes and reads stories to the children. The Day Home teaching team benefits too. They often enhance their own skills of reading and telling stories to children.
At the end of the year, children leaving the program are given a red bag to be used to carry books they borrow from their local library.
This program is sponsored by First Five of Alameda County and United Way among many other donors.