How We Work

Read to Me Project is an early literacy program that prepares young children to enter kindergarten with the knowledge, vocabulary, and comprehension skills that will help them succeed in school and become literate and successful adults. The Project provides structure and opportunity for children as young as 6 months old to be regularly read to at home by their elementary-aged brothers and sisters.

Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students are taught about early brain development and the importance of reading to young children to help “light up” their minds with wonder and knowledge. Through regular coaching sessions, students are shown effective and fun ways to read out loud to young family members. A bin of thoughtfully curated, age appropriate books is provided to the students in their classroom for weekly check out.

Sit in on a Coaching Session
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The Read to Me Project is the only way schools have to penetrate into homes to provide early literacy experiences for children beginning at birth. The Read to Me Project is a simple and impactful program that benefits communities, schools and the lives of students, little ones, and parents.

– Sonia Arámburo, Oak Avenue Elementary School Principal

  • This is such a worthwhile program, and it makes no sense to me why every teacher and school doesn't promote it.  The research is there.  Computers are fine, but research shows a lot of negative when it comes to reading.  Nonetheless, a plain old fashioned book is the way to go.  This is why I have about 1,500 books in my classroom library.  In addition, I have two librarians in my class each year to monitor my library.  As you know, a book changes lives one person at a time.

    - Noelle Griffin, Teacher – La Gloria Elementary School, Gonzales
  • I feel very joyful inside when I read to my little one because I feel like I am helping him learn to read and I know I love to read, so he might also.

    - Suzanna, 4th grader
  • I feel like I’m actually helping her learn lots of new stuff. I’m really thankful for being in Read to Me Project.

    - Alexa, 5th Grader
  • I feel happy reading to my little one because they learn more like animal names, shapes, and numbers.

    - Demitrio, 5th Grader
  • I feel very proud of her and myself  because I feel like when I read to her she uses the strategies in the book at home and at preschool. I also feel like I am a good cousin.

    - Marina, 4th Grader
  • It feels awesome to read to someone and have them to learn.

    - Maria, 4th Grader
  • We have a shelf at our house with books but they were dusty because no used them but since I started Read to Me and I read to my baby sister, my mom says that my little sister will grab those books and baby talk to them so I know I am helping her to want to be a reader.

    - 4th Grader who reads to her 1.5 year old sister

Literacy Research

The Read to Me Project helps prepare children for kindergarten and school success!

The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are often referred to as the brain’s window of opportunity, experts say, a time of great potential but also great vulnerability. The most explosive growth comes first, with the brain doubling in the first year.

Researchers are concerned that less parental stimulation coupled with a lack of engagement with other children during the pandemic may be partly to blame. This decreased interaction may inhibit the growth of neural connections that drive child development.  However, they are hopeful that the cognitive decline may be reversible if the stimulation increases.

There is abundant evidence that the pandemic has impacted children on a variety of fronts, ranging from literacy lags and mental health issues to deepening poverty, all of which can profoundly influence their education.

What We Know

  • 85% of brain development occurs during the first five years of life.
  • Early enrichment stimulates brain development.
  • Children from language-rich families perform better in school.
  • Reading to young children is an easy and effective way to build language, vocabulary and knowledge.
  • Literacy is the gateway to a life-time of opportunity and learning.
Human Brain Development Chart

The Problem

A large number of children enter kindergarten significantly behind in readiness skills; often lacking in life experiences, vocabulary, basic knowledge, language and comprehension.

We help families create the critical early learning engagement necessary for academic success. Children who fall behind early in their school careers often don’t catch up.

The video below features Anne Fernald, a prominent early childhood expert and Stanford professor, explaining the importance of talking and reading to very young children.

The following video explains how early childhood experience impacts brain architecture and development.

The following video explains why reading is the perfect stimulation for young minds and why things like television are not.