Spring 2020
Read to a Child Update
The Read to a Child family sends its best wishes for health and well-being to your family a nd loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also send our thanks for supporting Read to a Child's mission to foster a love of reading, improve literacy skills and empower underserved children by inspiring adults to read to them regularly.

Due to school closures and social distancing guidelines, Read to a Child's Lunchtime Reading Program (one-on-one reading and mentoring sessions that run weekly through the school year and end with heartwarming celebrations) has been
suspended for this school  year.                

Read to a Child, however, continues its mission by:
  • Enabling volunteer readers to send videos to their 'reading buddies'
  • Hosting interactive online read aloud events
  • Publishing online read aloud resources for caregivers
  • Producing and highlighting reading events on social media
  • Planning for the return of our Lunchtime Reading Program to partner schools 
We have swiftly pivoted to serve our mission through online platforms for now, while continuing to enable children to benefit from fun and impactful read aloud experiences . As stakeholders of Read to a Child, you are undoubtedly aware that reading aloud to children has been shown to be the single most important factor for eventual success in reading, which, of course, is a key factor for success in life.

On behalf of thousands of Read to a Child students and volunteer reading mentors in the greater metropolitan areas of Boston, Detroit, Hartford, Los Angeles and Miami, THANK YOU for your continued support of our mission. 
In This Issue
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Get Involved

Volunteer Reading Mentor Video Messages 

April is National Volunteer Month, and we want all of our volunteer reading mentors to know how special they are to us and to the students they mentor.
Read to a Child Video to Nicholas
Our Greater Boston Regional Board Member, Lee Bertram, records a video message to his 'reading buddy' Nicholas
We have been working with volunteers from all five regions to submit video messages to their 'reading buddies,' checking in on them, letting them know how much they enjoyed reading with and getting to know their buddy, and encouraging them to read or be read to at home. 

We are so grateful to the hundreds of volunteer reading mentors across the nation who have participated thus far in creating video messages for their students. We know how much their students will appreciate a personalized message from their reading mentor, 'closing out' the school year and letting them know they are being thought of from afar as we continue to remain socially distant.  
Remote Read Aloud Program 

To address school closures, social distancing, and a widening achievement gap, Read to a Child is expanding its offerings to include a Remote Read Aloud Program to augment its flagship Lunchtime Reading Program, which we expect to resume when appropriate. 

The new Remote Read Aloud Program features high-profile guest readers who will provide children with quality read aloud experiences online. Read to a Child is also utilizing multiple online platforms to provide children, parents, and caregivers access to a breadth of high-quality, virtual read aloud resources. These online initiatives will augment Read to a Child's Lunchtime Reading Program and will serve to  strengthen our mission to foster a love of reading, improve literacy skills, and empower underserved children by inspiring adults to read to them regularly.

Jordan Gershowitz, Author of Ignore the Trolls

We will officially launch the Remote Read Aloud program nex week, but our stakeholder community can get  early access by clicking the link below. Our program kicks off with inaugural reader, Nickelodeon Head Writer and children's book author  Jordan Gershowitz reading from his book "Ignore the Trolls"  to a live audience of Lunchtime Reading Program students.  
We are excited to take our programming online and offer a variety of virtual read aloud experiences to the students we serve, as well as to our greater online community.

Stay tuned for more news from our Remote Read Aloud Program, including its official launch next week and exciting new guest readers such as R.J. Palacio, author of New York Times bestseller,  Wonder

If you are interested in joining Winston & Strawn, LLP to become 
a sponsor of our Remote Read Aloud Program, please contact Natalie Ellis.

Check out our Youtube Channel to see the full version of "Ignore the Trolls" with Jordan Gershowitz. Don't forget to hit subscribe on Youtube to stay up-to-date with our latest virtual content! A special thank you to Ten 28 Avenue P Productions for your production work on this wonderful video.

Virtual Learning Resources

We are constantly updating our Read Aloud Resources page to provide parents and caregivers the most up-to-date content that is free to use and accessible. There, you will f ind links to online learning content including free e-books and audio books for children of all ages. These resources have been vetted and approved by our Read to a Child program staff. 

Follow us on social media as we continue to post and link to online read aloud content from a variety of different sources. We are committed to sharing a wide variety of virtual resources that are consistent with our vision to provide equal opportunity for success to all children that we serve and improve literacy skills through the power of reading aloud.
Thank you to our Corporate Partners!
We value our key partners more than ever as we respond to an evolving funding and programmatic landscape.  We are overwhelmed by their generosity and commitment to seeing Read to a Child through this unprecedented time. 

A special thanks to the  Liberty Mutual Foundation TJX
AspenTechCapital GroupTravelers FoundationChemical BankLevel One Bank, and United Way for Southeastern Michigan for showing tremendous leadership and providing critical support for our five Read to a Child regions during this crisis.
Winston & Strawn reading pair at our Lunchtime Reading Program
Brett Carroll, Partner at Holland & Knight LLP

A BIG thank you to  Winston & Strawn  for stepping up to be the inaugural sponsor of our Remote Read Aloud Program. We are honored to work together to bring this interactive digital experience to the students we serve nationwide and opening up the doors of our programming to a wider online audience. 

We are excited to welcome our newest National Board Member Brett Carroll, a Partner at Holland & Knight LLP, and wish to extend a spe cial thanks to Holland & Knight  for their legal assistance during this time of crisis.

How Can You Help? 

There are many ways you can help support our online programming efforts during this time and ensure that we make a strong comeback when our Lunchtime Reading Program returns to schools. 
  • Donate: We appreciate your generosity in any capacity and your support means the world to us!
  • Advocate: Forward this newsletter to your family and friends! Let them know about the work we are doing to impact children's literacy during this time. Encourage them to join our mailing list to learn more!
  • Follow: Follow us on social media, like and share our content!
Online Campaign

Our Online Campaign is still going strong, and we are over 80% to our goal of $100,000 with 350 individual donations. With your help, we can reach and even surpass our goal! Please see the information on Giving Tuesday Now below as we use this event on May 5, 2020 as the culmination of this year's campaign.

Thank you to all who have participated in our Online Campaign and supported us with your donations and fundraising efforts. A special thanks to our Online Campaign Visionary Sponsors ArcLight Capital Partners and Pitney Bowes, Champion Sponsor Integrity Services and Trailblazer Sponsor The Barnes Family, who have gone above and beyond in supporting our goal to fund 6,000 individualized reading sessions for at-risk elementary aged children across the country.
Save The Date
 May 5, 2020

We are excited to announce our participation in the Giving Tuesday Now Movement!

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19 and will serve as the finale of our Online Campaign. 

Join the movement on May 5th, and help us reach our Online Campaign goal of $100,000! Save the date, follow us on social media, spread the word to friends and family!

The CARES Act Gives Back! 
The CARES Act passed by the federal government in response to the COVID-19 crisis recognizes the importance of supporting non-profit organizations in this time of economic uncertainty.

Right now, donors can enjoy new tax benefits for aligning their dollars with their values. If you itemize your deductions, there is no limit to the deductions you can take for charitable contributions. Any amount you choose to give can be deducted from your taxable income. If you do not itemize deductions, you can take a charitable deduction of up to $300. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!