Read a 33-day journal of one teen mom
reading to her child.
What Our Participants Say about Our Programs:
- Reading is a new routine for us. The divorce was pretty upsetting to us all.
Now we have a quiet time with the TV turned off and we can read the Bernstein
Bears. It bonds parents and children. The children want to look at books now
on their own initiative.
- This is a good program. We read a lot. We read more when we are here in this
program. There is more opportunity to read here and the time is dedicated to
that. This program helps families that haven't read that much.
- Besides being educational this program helps with the bonding between parents
and children. Besides bringing parents and children together, this is bringing
the community together because we all live here together. I encourage my
daughter to read books. She can pick out a book and read while I read.
- I wasn't into books before. Now I have purchased our own book. We are reading
every day. We read to the kids for 20 minutes every day. We have five kids at
the dinner table. We have that book that you gave us both in Spanish and
English. Our older kids are doing OK in school, but reading is where they are
behind. Now the family reads together and asks questions. We read before
bedtime. The kids pick out the books.
- I love the idea to reinforce the habit of reading, because that is a bond
between parents and children that nobody can break. To feed our brain is our
most powerful weapon to have successful kids.
From our participants at the Mt. Diablo Unified School District's Family
- Thank you for bringing us information about the importance of reading
20 minutes a day with our children. Thank you also for the books and for
teaching us many ways to enjoy our children. We appreciate your hard
work and your time.
- Thank you for coming to my school and teaching us how to read books.
I like reading my free book to my son. Please visit our school
- Thank you for your time, information and books. They (my children)
are impatient all day because they are waiting for reading time. When it
is time my children are happier when I read books to them.
- Thank you, Ladies, for your time. Thank you for coming to our
school, and teaching us the importance of reading to our children. My
children and I now have a special time together and we are learning.
Thank you for the books. Sometimes when my children and I go to the
store they want books instead of toys.
- Thanks! Now I know how important it is to read to my son every day.
Reading to him will help him succeed in the future.
- Thanks for the books. My son is so happy. He learns faster when he
- I am very grateful for you taking time to motivate us and to teach us
the importance of reading to our children.
- Thank you for encouraging us to read with our children every
- My daughter says thank you for the books and I thank you for teaching
me the importance of reading.
What Our Partner Service Providers Say about Our Programs:
Read a very nice thank-you
from Dr. ReJois Frazier-Myers, Director of Student
Services, Pittsburg Unified School District. (PDF, 32 KB)
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
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.
Parent Volunteer, John Muir Elementary, Antioch
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.
Principal, Turner Elementary School, Antioch
I want to thank each of you for your hard work as well as your heart.
Clearly your heart is in your work! We are grateful that you are giving of
yourselves and accomplishing so much.
Director, Inmate Services
Contra Costa County
Office of the Sheriff
Shirley & Parent Power! Team,
Words cannot express how happy I am to finally see "our dream" become a reality ...
and to receive such positive feedback from Angela, her staff and the men. Wow! It has
truly been an extraordinary journey and I feel honored to have contributed in a small
way to its birth. We never lost the vision ... Parent Power is on its way now ... and
thank you all for the wonderful labor of love you are doing for the families. I believe
that we are making a statement to everyone that "Parenthood Matters" whether the parent
is incarcerated or not. I believe that there is no limit to what we can accomplish;
working collaboratively for the good of others. Many blessings and I look forward to
seeing you all soon.
Jeannie Cummings, MA, CFT, Paralegal, Life Coach
Coordinator, Lift Every Voice
Family Maternal Child Health
I am extremely excited to introduce you to Shirley, the Director of REading
ADvantage, Inc. Shirley contacted me today about setting up a parent workshop
with our BIH clients to discuss the benefits of reading to their babies
during pregnancy and after. The initial workshops are 1 hour with a 15-30
minute 30-day follow up session with the moms to check on their progress and
provide additional support and free books. During the main workshop they'll
discuss reading strategies and the moms will receive free books. Shirley is
also donating multicultural books to our Resource center/library and I will
drop them off to you once I receive them Thursday.
Their website has wonderful information about their program. They partner
with the African American Baby Shower Collaborative, Early Headstart, and
African American Health Conductors programs to conduct similar workshops.
They are also piloting a program with Public Health Nursing that enables PHNs
to conduct presentations during their home visits. Reading Advantage also
works with Lift Every Voice (a FMCH program) and West County Detention
Facility's Parenting Inside Out program, which provides children with recorded
readings of storybooks read by their incarcerated parents.
Senior Health Education Specialist
Family, Maternal and Child Health Programs
The REadingADvantage, Inc. program offers a dynamic approach to encourage
reading for our non-native English speaking adult students. Their fresh and
enthusiastic presentation outlines the significance of parents reading at
least 20 minutes each day with their child. The benefits are supported by
research which they share with our students.
During the presentation, the students promise to read with their children
at least 20 minutes a day for the 30 days following the presentation. The
accountability lies with the parent. They have seen the statistics, and they
realize that they can have an impact on their children's academic success.
The program and presentation are not without their challenges. Our low
Literacy students found it difficult at times to understand the information
presented, and it was necessary to simplify some of the materials. The team
warmly accepted the suggestions and continued to modify their presentations
to fit the students' language needs.
The highlight of the program, of course, is the return visit by the Reading
Advantage team after 30 days. They check in with the students about how often
they were able to read with their child and their feelings about the experience.
Each student then receives a book for each child in their family. The sense of
achievement and satisfaction is apparent as each student is given books for
We are grateful to the REadingADvantage program and team for providing
this enriching opportunity for our students and their families.
Beth Lenahan, Program Assistant
ESL Family Literacy Program, Mt. Diablo Adult Education
Thank you! I know you made an impact on the residents. We feel grateful that
you were able to help the young mothers bond with their children even when they are
in a situation where they feel helpless; you helped them feel hopeful. Thanks
Julia Robinson, Supervisor
Girl's Unit, CCC Juvenile Hall
Reading Advantage was a success yesterday! Deborah worked with 3 girls on Shasta
(Juvenile Hall) and they responded really well to her and to the presentation. They
participated and shared as they learned about the importance of reading to their own
children. The girls also seemed to really value the experience of recording themselves
reading a book and knowing that their little ones were going to get to receive it and
hear their voices. One girl got emotional as she ended her story and another girl asked
when the program would be coming again because she liked it so much.
Thank you everybody for your help and for allowing REadingADvantage to come in. It
would be great to coordinate again for the next round of residents who are mothers and
Amanda Kuzio, MFT
Central County Mental Health Probation Liaison
It is with enthusiasm that I support REadingADvantage Inc. The staff at the
Brentwood Library has partnered with REadingADvantage several times over the
past year, and has been impressed with their heartfelt dedication and commitment
toward promoting children and parents reading together. We have joined them in
workshops with adult students in the Liberty Adult Education ESL program, both
adult and teen moms at Golden Hills Community Church, parents at both Pioneer
and Marsh Creek Elementary schools, and teen moms in the Liberty High School
District. During every presentation the group from REadingADvantage discusses
not just the importance of reading to the very youngest of children, but why
it is important. Their audience is engaged, and the evaluations from their
workshops show that their message is succeeding.
The library is extremely proud to partner with REadingADvantage in its efforts
to reach out to parents and families about the importance of reading. The
library shares a similar mission, and appreciates that we can share what
resources we can offer the families that they will be able to use for a
lifetime of learning.
Liz Fuller, Senior Community Library Manager
On behalf of the Pittsburg and Bay Point Libraries, I am pleased to support
REadingADvantage Inc.'s reading workshops. REadingADvantage's workshop goal
is to equip parents with an understanding of the importance of reading to
their children. Not only do they provide information and encouragement to
parents, they also give parents books so they can start building home libraries
which will help put their knowledge into practice.
REadingADvantage supports the library's main goals of encouraging reading and
providing programs and services to support literacy. REadingADvantage has
partnered with both the Pittsburg and Bay Point Libraries when presenting
workshops in the two communities.
REadingADvantage's workshops provide support to parents which in turn can help
prevent some of children's academic and social struggles. Any program that
supports parents reading to their children will have a lasting, positive
effect on a community.
Becky Nielson, Youth Services Librarian
Village Community Resource Center is a community based nonprofit organization
whose mission is to provide information, support, and coordination of resources
to empower and improve the quality of life of disadvantaged children and their
families in a culturally sensitive environment. We do this through programs in
the following three areas: education, health, and social services.
I am excited to be partnering with REadingADvantage as their program complements
our literacy services by providing parents with the knowledge and skills necessary
to make reading a regular part of family life. I have been very impressed by the
expertise, organization, and professionalism of the REadingADvantage board members
and staff. Additionally, the Children and Parents Reading Together Program provides
learning opportunities which are relevant to our clients and includes bilingual
materials (Spanish/English) which are presented in a clear and focused manner. I
believe this program, provided by REadingADvantage, is vitally important to the
families it serves as it reinforces the importance of reading in the home. We look
forward to continuing to partner with REadingADvantage in the coming years.
Kirsten Rigsby, Executive Director
Village Community Resource Center
Liberty Adult Education is very fortunate to have such a great partnership
with REadingADvantage, Inc. (READ). READ and the library held an event at our school
to present reading and library resources. They gave away free books to over one
hundred of our students to encourage reading in the household. It was a "BIG" Success.
We at Liberty Adult School, thank you for your support and in helping to educate our
Debbie Norgaard, Adult Education Coordinator
Liberty Adult Education, Brentwood, California.