Click for explanation

REadingADvantage, Inc.

Changing a generation - one child, one book at a time



Home   About Us   Donate   Events   Links   News   Programs   Reading Tools   Testimonials   Be a Volunteer
(Members only) Board   Volunteers



Just what is "The Gap?" We are hearing the term more frequently as early literacy leaders and nonprofits are waving a red flag trying to get our attention. We have learned that there is a significant educational and literacy gap among the children of various socio-economic groups in contemporary America. We know that 90% of the development of a child's brain happens before age 6, which leads us to understand that the roots of this disparity begin at a very early age. And there is no secret to how it begins. 60% of low-income American children grow up in houses that have zero books. 80% of our pre-schools and after school programs have no books. But, what are we going to do about it?

At REadingADvantage we believe we can do something. By pulling together with other nonprofits, local libraries, schools and funders, we can supply children with books from birth on. We can provide low-income homes with a home library. We can talk to parents and encourage them to read every day to their children, talk with their children, play with their children, and help their children explore the world around them. We can make a difference ... one child, one book at a time.

•  Doug Perez, PhD., READ Board of Directors

gold dividing line

Latest News

April 2017: April is National Read Aloud Month! See an article in the digital magazine Pregnancy & Newborn.

We've had two letters so nice that we copied them to our home page, below.

gold dividing line

READ Spotlight

Our READ Spotlight shines on Deborah Polk, one of our READ co-founders and Vice President/Secretary on the READ Board of Directors. Read Deborah's own words as she describes why she is so passionate about REadingADvantage's mission.

gold dividing line

Coming Soon

All of our events are now open to the public. See a list.

gold dividing line

More about us

Why we are here
Programs and objectives
Did you know? Sobering facts about low income families and literacy.

Monthly Reading Tip

Words ... words ... words ... how do babies develop their vocabulary? Quite simply, they learn from hearing the words of the people around them. "If the child has never heard the word, the child will never say the word; and if you have neither heard it nor said it, it's pretty tough to read it and to write it." (From Jim Trelease's introduction in Read-aloud Rhymes for the Very Young, selected by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Marc Brown, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.)

gold dividing line

By the Numbers

Benchmarks reached in 2015:
•  13,570 children's books given out
•  5,699 Recipients
•  79 Workshops
•  17 Community Events

gold dividing line

Infographics and Handouts

The Word Gap. (jpg, 403 KB) By age 3, economicaly advantaged children know more than twice as many words as economically disadvantaged ones.

Beyond the word gap. (PDF, 5.6 MB) Language and learning develop in the context of early relationships.

Everyday Ways to Support Your Baby's and Toddler's Early Learning. (PDF, 680 KB) A handy, printable chart with practical suggestions.

gold dividing line

September 16, 2016

Hi Shirley!

Reading Advantage really provided an amazing gift and tool when you provided a new book for each of our new Kindergartners at registration time. Our administrative staff that conducted the registration was blown away at the offer of such beautiful books. And, then, to find out that not only was it a tremendous gift to the child, it was a great tool in keeping the child busy while the parent filled out the registration material.

Thank you, again, for your generous support of these books for Kindergarten Registration as well as the preschool books you provided at our Reading Night. We are a lucky community to have Reading Advantage!!

It's been fun to continue to follow you on Facebook - I was smiling with the most recent post with you and Steve Bibby.

Erica Olander
Parent Volunteer, John Muir Elementary, Antioch

gold dividing line

Antioch Unified School District
4207 Delta Fair Boulevard
Antioch, California 94509
Deborah Meylan, Principal

March 15, 2016

REading ADvantage, Inc.
1145 Second Street, Suite A #113
Brentwood, CA 94513

Dear Deborah Polk and REading ADvantage:

Thank you so very much for including Turner in your book program this year. What a generous and welcomed surprise!

It was wonderful to have you here at Turner to share your joy and passion for reading and books. Our Dr. Seuss family night was a huge success; REading ADvantage played a role in this! Our families love the free books and information that you so generously gave out. In addition, you and your group were here for our PTA Holiday Craft Night which was another big success.

Our families were thrilled to get books. As you may be very aware, many of the families at Turner struggle to make ends meet on a regular basis. Although books are exceptionally important, parents are not always able to make them a priority. Thank you for taking your passion and making a difference for so many others.

We are very interested in any programs you may offer. We would warmly and enthusiastically embrace them all. Please let me know if there is anything you need from me.

Thank you for the time, effort, and resources it takes to make this valuable program possible. Your love and generosity in providing books to our students for their homes is heartfelt.

I am honored that you chose to help Turner. We hope that we can continue to grow and build this partnership.


Deborah Meylan
Principal Turner Elementary School

REadingADvantage, Inc.
Changing a generation - one child, one book at a time.
1145 Second St., Suite A, #113
Brentwood, CA 94513
Phone: (925) 550-6021

Questions about Reading Advantage? Write to Shirley Kalinowski,
Questions about the web site? Write to our Web Master,

All material © REadingADvantage, Inc.

Site started: May 8, 2014.
This page updated: April 02, 2017