Program Overview

Read-Aloud is a relationship-based program supporting young children’s curiosity and joy in learning.

reader.student1_smAn adult volunteer connects to a child over the school year and provides a consistent, respectful encounter with the child each week, reading to and listening to the child. Deep friendships are formed between the adult and the child and this support provides the child opportunities for discovering the joys of reading, the space and quality time to develop their own reading skills, and love of books. Twice a month children choose books for their home-library that they can then read and share with their families and friends.

Read-Aloud is based on the SMART Program in Oregon. An independent study by the Eugene Research Institute reveals that children who participated in SMART are more likely to reach state reading benchmarks than are similar students who did not participate. Having an adult spend time reading with a child has a profound effect on struggling students. The study was published in Reading Research Quarterly (download the PDF).

Dr. Marilyn Nye, Professor of Education specializing in International Children’s Literature and founder of the program (1995) stated: “This program is elegantly simple but a potent tool for literacy”.

To learn more, see our program details section.

To see a school schedule and apply to be a reader, see our apply to volunteer section.