This week on MALN Opinion+ we spoke with Christine Ward, the Executive Director of Raising A Reader Massachusetts, an organization that aims to promote childhood literacy in families across the commonwealth.
Raising A Reader Massachusetts works in tandem with its national organization of the same name. The group targets communities of need and aims to get kids reading in a way that is exciting and enjoyable for them. Raising A Reader Massachusetts also finds it important to get parents involved by helping them find new ways to expose their own kids to reading along with encouraging parents to read aloud as often as they can. By doing this Raising a Reader Massachusetts helps children gain a critical literacy foundation before entering a traditional school setting which opens them up to what Ward describes as a “lifetime of opportunity.”
Access to age and language-appropriate books is a struggle many families face. Director Ward shared that the organization provides books for children in over 13 languages, including Braille and continues to add more to their collection. Ward further explained that for most median-income communities “there are 13 books for every child compared to a low-income neighborhood where there is one book available for every 300 children.” This makes the work Raising A Reader Massachusetts does crucial to early childhood development in lower-income and minority communities.
To hear more about Raising a Reader Massachusetts and how they can become involved in your community be sure to listen to this week’s episode of MALN Opinion+.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Raising A Reader Massachusetts: https://raisingareaderma.org