Tag Archives: Literacy

Award-Winning Page Ahead Project Keeps Kids Reading in Book Deserts

by Mark Van Streefkerk


It makes sense that acquiring early reading skills is directly linked to access to books, but what about families with very few books? A small but mighty nonprofit Page Ahead has helped get books into the hands of kids from low-income families in Washington State for over 30 years. 

Working with schools where 65% or more of students qualify for free or reduced lunch programs, Page Ahead provides 12 new books per year to every child in kindergarten through second grade. In spite of the pandemic, Page Ahead has found new ways to get books into the hands of kids, including launching the Book Oasis Project. Intentionally installed in identified book deserts, these Book Oases, much like Little Free Libraries, are stocked with new children’s books that are free to anyone. At the beginning of the month, Page Ahead was recognized for their work with a prestigious Library of Congress State Literacy Award.

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In-School Reading Program Will Shift Its Tutoring Program Online

by Ben Adlin


Classrooms will be empty next month when Seattle public schools kick off an unprecedented school year, with nearly all learning set to happen remotely. For a local nonprofit that pairs hundreds of Seattle students with one-on-one reading tutors, that’s meant figuring how to bring in-person lessons to the virtual realm.

“It is us taking our evidence-based curriculum and digitizing it, and creating a safe and secure platform online,” said Cassy McKee, executive director of the Seattle chapter of Reading Partners, a national nonprofit that in years past has brought books and volunteer tutors to reading rooms at elementary schools that serve low-income families, including Rising Star Elementary in South Beacon Hill.

Things screeched to a halt in March, when the coronavirus pandemic closed schools, but since then the organization has steadily reopened remotely. It’s launched an online library of books and adopted a new translation app to better communicate with families, and this fall it will boot up an online version of its one-on-one tutoring sessions.

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An Unusual UW Merchandising Deal Is Encouraging Thousands of Kids to Read

by Ben Adlin


Parents looking for ways to help their kids build healthy reading habits will have another resource this summer: Real Dawgs Read, a program created by the University of Washington to help structure and reward independent reading.

The program asks K–8 students to read 30 minutes per day for 30 days over the summer. Pretty much anything goes — books, magazines, comics, and newspapers all count toward the goal. Students submit written logs of their reading and, in exchange, receive a personalized certificate and a UW-branded goodie, such as a hat, hoodie, or socks.

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