Local Spotlight: Kids Read Now

Motivating all children to learn to read so they read to learn.

Learning to read is a critical component of education. According to the Kids Count Data Center, children who reach fourth grade without being able to read proficiently are more likely to drop out of high school, reducing their earnings potential and chances for success. Kids Read Now, a nonprofit located just north of Dayton, combats illiteracy by getting books into kids’ hands at home — books they choose, at their reading level, with fun reading activities in each one that build comprehension and make better readers.

Southwest Ohio Parent talked to Christina Brownlee, director of marketing for Kids Read Now, to learn more about this organization that’s helping to get books into the hands of students.

What makes Kids Read Now different from other reading programs?

Each book [a child receives] includes a Discovery Sheet with reading activities for kids to do with parents. Discussing the book improves comprehension and makes for stronger readers. We also offer Discover More supplemental online activities, offering a deeper dive into the subject of the book, the author and much more.

Our mobile app gives parents and students the opportunity to see what books were selected, and monitor progress individually and as a classroom. The app is available in over 100 languages with translated Discovery Sheets making it more accessible to families with a home language other than English.

Almost 20 percent of our books are bilingual. We have a diverse selection of award-winning books, books that focus on social-emotional learning, popular characters and more. Our literacy advisory board, made up of teachers and literacy experts, reviews hundreds of books each year to select the very best for your kids.

Instead of a traditional reading list, Kids Read Now empowers student choice. Tell us how.

Children are naturally curious and they’re three times as likely to read a book they choose. With over 150 titles, kids in the program are guided by their teacher to choose books that interest them from within their reading level to ensure their reading is not too easy or too challenging. They receive the books at home and they are theirs to keep, so where and when they read them is up to them.

Kids Read Now has a robust summer reading program. Do you have reading programs for other times of the year?

Yes, we offer several seasonal programs to encourage reading outside of the school day/year.

Is there a way for people to get involved?

Absolutely! Kids Read Now partners with school districts all over America. If you’d like to bring our program to your kids’ school, send an email to your K-5 kids’ principal and superintendent asking them to visit here.

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