By Leib Lurie | Categories All | Book Deserts | Critical Thinking | Curriculum | Early Education | Educators | Engagement - Classroom | Engagement - Community | K-5 Literacy | Parents | Reading | Results | February 5, 2021

How to get more books and build bigger libraries for your young readers

Parents always ask how they can expand the Kids Read Now summer reading program into the rest of the year.

Here are seven great ways to get more free or almost free books. This will keep your children building their reading skills whether school is open, they’re learning remotely, or it’s somewhere in the middle.

  1. Ask your Principal to check out the Book Bridge program from Kids Read Now. With the Book Bridge program we will mail a book each week to your home for seven weeks. These books include fun and popular titles at your child’s reading level, and you get to get them forever!
  1. Rent or check out books. Most public libraries are open to lend books; most have Kindle, Libby, or myON links that allow downloading eBooks to a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Just call your local library! Like paper books, many favorite electronic books have a waiting list; but it’s easy to reserve books now and get them when available in a few weeks. Digital books from the library have a return date and will automatically vanish from your device when time is up.
  1. Work with your Principal and/or PTO to have a book swap. Children bring in gently used books they have outgrown or are tired of reading, lay them out on tables, and swap for different books to take back home. This can be done with social distancing by having just a few at a time go into the swap area.
  1. Visit used bookstores. They offer terrific titles for just a buck or two, and some even offer book-buy programs, so children can sell books they no longer want and earn money for new books! Find a list of those in your area here.
  1. Scope out library book sales. Most local libraries have an annual book sale where a shopping bag full of books is just a few dollars! Here is a list of those sales in your area this season!
  1. Little Free Libraries. Communities across the country have already established over 100,000 “Little Free Libraries.” These are sheltered bookshelves in public places where people are invited to leave-a-book, take-a-book. If your town doesn’t have these, it’s easy to start. Learn more here.
  1. Barbershop Books. The barbershop book program is a new and innovative community program in cities and towns where libraries can be hard to find. Placing a set of books in barbershops aims to give young boys a safe and convenient place to get books and read with an adult (who is waiting for a haircut)!

More books at home makes a difference. Children from homes with 100 or more books are much more likely to go to advanced trade schools or college; they often go on to get high paying jobs from there as well. This is an amazing benefit just by spending a few dollars and an hour or two a month adding books to your home library. Help assure your child has books at home to practice reading skills learned in school and become a stronger, better, and more confident reader. If you have any questions about how to get more books, please contact us!

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By KRN Admin | Categories All | Challenges | Choices | Critical Thinking | Curriculum | Early Education | Educators | Engagement - Classroom | Engagement - Community | Engagement - Family | K-5 Literacy | Learning Loss | News | Opportunity Gap | Parents | Reading Instruction | Results | Writing | December 9, 2020

Kelli Bush with Elizabethtown Independent Schools highlights 5 keys to a successful summer reading initiative, such as Kids Read Now. In her eSchoolNews, December 2020 article, she explains how her district’s dedication and the Kids Read Now in-home summer reading program are changing her students’ reading habits for the better. Read the full article here.

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By Leib Lurie | Categories All | Challenges | Diversity | Early Education | Engagement - Community | Equity | Inclusion | Learning Loss | News | Opportunity Gap | Social Emotional Learning | June 12, 2020

Dear Educators, Parents and Partners,

Racial injustice has plagued our country for centuries, and despite progress in many sectors, people of color are still overwhelmingly likely to be subject to tragic police brutality and fatal incidents. The sad incidents of the past few weeks, exacerbated by those who fan the fires of hatred and racial inequities will leave another layer of scars on all our children.

Black and Brown people in our nation are far more likely to be infected and die from the novel Corona Pandemic. The massive layoffs drag down a high percentage of Black and Brown families already struggling behind white neighbors.

The extended school shutdowns will leave children of color even further behind their peers, and more likely to be home without adequate supervision; much less access to high speed internet and full screen devices essential to leaning during this unprecedented crisis. These same children live in the scrublands of book deserts during the best of times. With summer schools and community programs cancelled or curtailed; the inequities grow starker every day.

The indisputable fact is that bias and systemic oppression of marginalized communities are deeply intertwined with many aspects of our culture and society. This is just one more form of intolerable racism that we all must work to recognize and overcome

We at Kids Read Now believe it is critical for the future of our country that we collectively and proactively engage in the difficult conversations to define equity and take action to create a more equitable system.

When I was younger, belligerent neighbors vandalized our home and a week later I was screaming in terror in the Audubon ballroom when Malcolm X was assassinated. A few years later, I was tear gassed in Washington at a peaceful demonstration that turned ugly with aggressive police presence. Sadly, this year feels like the 1960’s all over again.

We can, we will, we MUST do better.

Speaking up for the oppressed, working for justice, helping the disadvantaged is what we all need to do. Today more than ever.

Mailing 350,000 books to families over this extended summer is one way we strive for equitable home-learning, and assuring we deliver books to boost literacy, delivered to homes, overcoming the Covid quarantine measures.

We appreciate that our community of partners, educators and parents are committed to making a real difference.

My hope is that, together, we can help, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “bend the arc of history toward justice.”

Looking forward,

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By KRN Admin | Categories All | Choices | Critical Thinking | Curriculum | Early Education | Engagement - Community | K-5 Literacy | Reading Instruction | Results | April 20, 2020

Claire Kliss believes that getting students excited about reading requires a commitment to building (and feeding) a community. In Language Magazine’s April 2020 article, Building a Community of Year-Round Readers, she discusses how she’s making a difference in her district.

Read the article here

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By Christina Brownlee | Categories All | Challenges | Choices | Curriculum | Early Education | Educators | Engagement - Community | Engagement - Family | Equity | K-5 Literacy | Learning Loss | News | Opportunity Gap | Reading | Reading Instruction | Results | March 23, 2020

by: Aliah Williamson, WDTN NEWS

Link to the original post

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – Every summer since 2012, the Kids Read Now organization sends books to 130 different school districts to combat “summer slide” or learning loss.

This year, as the coronavirus shut down could potentially keep kids out of school for at least 5 months, there are tens of thousands of students facing new challenges.

Leib Lurie, the founder of Kids Read Now based in Troy, says economically disadvantaged students are more vulnerable when it comes to learning loss especially during the shutdown.

“Just over half of poor households have no highspeed internet connection and only 30 [to] 40 percent only have a phone,” said Lurie. “We have a lot of parents struggling just to keep their kids fed…”

In response, the nonprofit is ramping up its program early for “Spring Fling.” Schools can enroll in the program and help their students pick a wishlist of books for the summer.

The books each come with Discovery Sheets to help students with reading comprehension. When a student is finished with a book, they text a code to a number and the next book in the queue is sent.

Lurie says more than 10,000 students are already signed up.

“We’re going to ship probably close to 600,000 books in the next eight or ten-weeks. Typically nine books reduce the summer reading slide by 27 days or 2 1/2 months of school days. Six hundred thousand books are going to get a lot of kids doing a whole lot of reading,” said Lurie.

Sending books on such a large scale does come at a cost, but it’s a price that Lurie is prepared to pay to see students succeed.

“Our mission is to improve literacy outcomes for children. So if we have to put another $1 million of cost into this to keep it going we’re going to do that,” said Lurie.

Kids Read Now is looking for volunteers as well as donations to keep their program afloat.

For more information on how you could help out click here.

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