I love to read. I have always loved to read. My parents filled my room with books, read to me every night before bed, and read often themselves. My parents tell me that “Dr. Seuss’s ABCs” was the first book I read aloud myself, although there’s a good chance I just had it memorized from their repeated readings to me. The first books I remember loving were the Encyclopedia Brown books, and I would beg my mother to read (and do the voices for) Uncle Remus tales at night.

In elementary school it was always exciting to see where I would start in the SRA box at the start of the year, and how quickly I could get to the end of the box to start a new one. Summers meant many trips to the local library with my mom, hauling tote bags filled with books back to my room. By the 5th grade I’d read almost every book in the children’s room and started exploring books in the grown-up section, like “Eyes of the Dragon” and “Tailchaser’s Song.”

raising a reader jenny and eli

I could fill this entire blog with books I’ve loved, books that changed my life, and books I’ve hated, and books I purposely read slowly because I hated to see them end. I live a life built on books, and it makes sense to me that of course my own kid would, too.

But not every kid has that kind of life. A lot of parents don’t have access to books, don’t know where to start with age-appropriate reading material, and don’t know how to find the time to read and engage their children with books. That’s where Raising a Reader steps in.

They don’t just give families the tools to build a lifelong love of reading – they teach caregivers how to use those tools to create a strong foundation of education in their young children. Not only is this a cause that’s close to my heart, it’s a model I firmly believe in as a way for our society to change how our children are raised: helping families use the tools, not just giving them access. (I’m working on a post about how this affects nutrition in children, but in the meantime if you want to see someone who’s doing it right in that regard check out Chef Allison Sosna – a bit of a hero of mine.)

I’m using my big ol’ social media mouth over the next two days to Tweet for Books, and I’d like your help. Please make a donation to Raising a Reader and help them make a real difference to kids in Massachusetts.

Every donation made before 8pm EST on 10/11/12 gets them one step closer to an additional cash prize as part of The Boston Foundation’s Giving Common Challenge, so making a gift at this time has an even bigger impact that it would at other times, but if you find this post after 10/11, please consider making a donation anyway because KIDS. READING.

Let’s make it happen together.

Here’s the link: https://givingcommon.s3.amazonaws.com/npo1114956.html

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