Long Beach Public Library Foundation


Raising A Reader

Raising A Reader Long Beach is a coordinated citywide effort that will make lap reading and sharing storybooks a family ritual in homes with preschool children. The vision of Raising A Reader Long Beach is to see that ALL preschool children arrive at kindergarten in love with books, healthy and ready to learn. Currently two out of three preschool children tested for kindergarten readiness by Long Beach Unified School District were rated as unprepared for school and learning.

In 2005 the Harvard Family Research Project, Graduate School of Education, recognized Raising A Reader as "a best practice model" that promotes school success, improves family bonding, and improves reading behavior especially for low-income families. This reading program encourages the love of books by providing brightly colored book bags that are filled with beautiful award-winning books for children that are rotated weekly. During the 12-week program period, participants must visit their local library once as a group and once as a family. Over the 3-month period children are introduced to over 120 colorful books featuring distinctive stories and artwork, age-appropriate language and multicultural themes. Children quickly draw their families into sharing books while developing essential school readiness skills. More than 70 book bag program rotations are expected this year. Raising A Reader is conducted in 40 locations throughout the City of Long Beach.