Celebrating 25 Years of Raising a Reader: Top 25 Things I Love About Our Journey 

06.17.2024 From the CEO

This year marks a special milestone for Raising a Reader as we celebrate 25 years of fostering a love of reading in children and their families across the nation. It’s a journey filled with laughter, learning, and lots of books! Reflecting on these years, I want to share with you 25 things I love about Raising a Reader. 

  • The First Book Moment – Witnessing a child’s joy when they open their red or blue bag and pull out their first book from Raising a Reader—there’s nothing quite like it! 
  • Family Engagement – Seeing families reading together and making it a cherished family routine. 
  • Our Amazing Affiliates – Celebrating the strength and dedication of our amazing affiliates and dedicated coordinators who drive our program’s impact. 
  • Our Awesome RAR National Team – Our team’s unwavering commitment and passion for changing lives through early literacy. We have had wonderful colleagues over our 25 years, and many still stay in close touch with the RAR family.  
  • Diverse Books – Offering books that reflect the wonderful diversity of our world. 
  • Seeing Long-term Impact – Meeting adults who were once in the program and now share it with their children or children in their community. 
  • Our National Footprint – Reaching children and families in bustling urban centers, expansive suburbs, vibrant rural towns, and inspiring tribal communities across the United States. 
  • Radical Collaborations and Partnerships – Working side-by-side with amazing partners, educators, and organizations who are as passionate about early literacy and family engagement as we are. 
  • Thoughtful Innovations – Listening to the needs of communities to adapt and scale impact. 
  • Heartwarming Feedback – Every note we receive sharing how our books have sparked a child’s imagination. 
  • Program Growth – Watching our program expand from a few sites in the San Francisco Bay Area to thousands across the country. 
  • Iconic Red Book Bags – Our signature red book bags that kids love and carry proudly. 
  • Evidence of Success – The gratifying data showing how much young children are benefitting from our programs. 
  • Supporting Libraries – Strengthening the bridge between families and libraries, a critical resource for lifelong learning. 
  • Funding Partners – The generosity of our donors and sponsors who believe in our mission and support our growth. 
  • Joyful Book Collection – Carefully curated book collection, ensuring every title sparks curiosity, joy, and a love for reading and where all children feel seen.  
  • Professional Development – Offering ongoing professional development opportunities, building a community of support for those implementing one of our programs.  
  • Dedicated Coaching – Providing hands-on training and support to our Affiliates, ensuring they have the tools and confidence needed to succeed. 
  • Supportive Workshops – Giving parents the tools they need to be part of their child’s reading journey. 
  • Creating Lifelong Readers – The pride in knowing we help foster lifelong learners. 
  • Cultural Celebrations – Incorporating books that celebrate different cultures, traditions, and languages, fostering inclusivity and understanding. 
  • Family Testimonials – Hearing stories from families about how Raising a Reader has positively impacted their reading routines. 
  • Dedicated Board Members – Celebrating the commitment, generosity, and guidance of our board members who provide strategic direction and support to our mission. 
  • Our Visionary Founders – We love to shout out Sterling Speirn and Carol Gray, as key members of the founding team, along with founding partners like San Mateo County Library.  
  • Ready Freddy – Celebrating our lovable bulldog mascot, Ready Freddy, who brings smiles, excitement, and a love of reading to children everywhere! 

Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey. Here’s to continuing our shared story of making reading a part of every child’s life! 

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