Building Successful Readers

“The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.” —National Commission on Reading

The Early Literacy program at LDA Minnesota is based on early childhood research. The program prepares parents to support their child’s early reading skill development through workshops, practical hands-on strategies, and literacy materials. It provides childcare professionals with training and materials to encourage parents’ efforts at home and to incorporate early literacy strategies throughout their program. Raising A Reader is our take-home book bag program to support early literacy.

The program’s major goal is to support the early literacy development of pre-school children so they will be better prepared to succeed in school and ready for kindergarten.

  • Provide opportunities for exposure to books and language for children before entering elementary school.
  • Empower parents with family literacy strategies and materials to use at home.
  • Serve as a community resource for early literacy and support child care providers in implementing early literacy activities in their programs.
  • Disseminate a “Literacy Benchmarks” document to track each child’s progress and help parents identify targeted interventions to support each child’s reading development.
  • Reaches out to low-income families and those with limited literacy or English proficiency.
  • Strategies for parents who do not read English are included in parent trainings.


What is Raising A Reader?

Raising A Reader is a take-home book bag program focused on increasing children’s exposure to books and reading before they enter Kindergarten. Each week book bags filled with a variety of books, including multi-cultural and multi-lingual vocabulary-building materials, go home from school. Parents are taught fun, interactive ways to share books with their children, and the book bag and its contents become a child’s ticket to imagination and knowledge. The result is an irresistible request: “Please read to me!”

Access to books is essential to reading development. In fact, the only behavioral measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home. Raising A ReaderHowever, children from low-income families have extremely limited access to books. A recent study shows that while in middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of age-appropriate books per child is 13 to 1, in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 book for every 300 children.

We are currently seeking to expand our community partnerships. For more information on the Early Literacy program or how to collaborate with us, please call LDA Minnesota at 952-582-6000.