By Denise Gary

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Kids Need to Read is the honored recipient of a $25,000 grant award from the Kathy and Jerry Wood Foundation. The funds are national in scope and will be used to implement the READ Together program in poorly funded schools located in low socioeconomic areas of the United States. These schools must be actively seeking methods and resources to assist in increasing low literacy levels among their student population. The READ Together program was selected for funding because of its foundational focus on increasing reading proficiency levels among kindergarten and first grade students for their future success.

Children who are routinely read to day in and day outand immersed in rich talk about books and the various activities in which they are engagedthrive. And those children with less exposure to books face tougher learning challenges in school and beyond. —Scholastic, Early Literacy

It has been established that forty-five percent of our nation’s children reside in neighborhoods and homes that lack access to books and libraries, and many attend schools that cannot afford to purchase books.

That means that, today, 32.4 million American children go without books—even as study after study has shown that literacy is crucial to success in school, future earning potential, and the ability to contribute to the nation’s economy. —Randi Weingarten, American Educator, Spring 2015

READ Together partners with schools and other literacy organizations to encourage adult caregivers to read every day with their children. The program utilizes a wealth of leveled books, educational resources, tips for caregivers on the go, and inspiration, all designed to increase at-home reading activities on a daily basis. Through a consistent, effective approach, young students will develop vital reading skills that will serve them throughout their educational years and beyond.

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Kids Need to Read sincerely thanks the Kathy and Jerry Wood Foundation, a private, charitable foundation established in 2006 through the wills of the late Kathy Wood and her husband, the late Jerry Wood. The foundation focuses on education and its gift to Kids Need to Read will fully fund the implementation of READ Together in ten underfunded elementary schools located in various regions of the United States, providing each with the resources necessary to continue the program year after year. Kids Need to Read is looking forward to serving the children who will benefit from Kathy and Jerry Wood’s foresight and generosity.

More: READ Together Information and Family Reading Tips

READ Together Partners

Highlights for Children, Inc.
Kathy and Jerry Wood Foundation
Mesa Host Lions Club

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