We Read Together equips preschool children (from birth to 5-years-old) with a head start on reading and writing by teaching their parents and caregivers how to read aloud and build critical pre-literacy skills.

At the Central Library and all 72 neighborhood branches, children’s librarians teach parents/caregivers proactive ways of reading to children by introducing techniques and fun books that increase vocabulary (knowing words); print awareness (seeing words); letter awareness (knowing the ABCs); phonemic awareness (hearing words); and narrative skills (telling stories). Children who master these concepts as preschoolers are more likely to become good readers when they enter kindergarten and begin formal reading instruction.

We Read Together promotes daily habits for lifelong reading in our community’s youngest residents and their parents by fostering literacy in the Library and in the home. It is modeled on the nationally acclaimed Every Child Ready to Read program developed by the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children in collaboration with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

We Read Together also incorporates the Los Angeles Public Library-created Story Telling and Reading (STAR) program. More than 30 years old and adopted by libraries around the world, STAR cultivates a life-long love of reading in children through read-aloud sessions led by adult volunteers. Volunteers (ages 18 and up) must pass a background check and attend trainings to conduct read-aloud sessions and perform book-centered activities with children at the library after school and on weekends. The program uses specialized dialogue-based reading methods that increase literacy and comprehension skills through discussions and open-ended questions. STAR volunteers make a six-month commitment to read at their local library with children for at least two hours a week.

We Read Together and Story Telling and Reading at the Los Angeles Public Library are supported by the generosity of:

  • Jean Perkins Foundation
  • The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation
  • The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation
  • Maxwell H. and Muriel S. Gluck Endowment Fund
  • Dan Murphy Foundation
  • The Boudjakdji Foundation
  • William H. Hannon Foundation
  • Southern California Gas
  • First 5 L.A.

To learn more about funding opportunities for We Read Together and Story Telling and Reading, please contact Imani Harris, Senior Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations, at 213.292.6243 or imaniharris@lfla.org.

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