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June 21, 2017

9 ways to promote literacy and support Reading Partners this summer

The summer is here and another fantastic school year has come to an end. Whether you are a seasoned tutor who can’t wait to get back into our reading centers in September, someone new to the program excited to begin, or a lover of literacy in all its forms, there is a lot you can do this summer to help students build a brighter future. It will take all of us giving our time, telling stories, and of course reading to set up next school year for success.

Here are nine ways you can promote and support early literacy education this summer:

1. Mark your tutoring session for fall on your calendar. Whether your calendar is on your phone or handwritten, block off your tutoring time (an hour a week or more) for next year now! It’s never too early to reserve space in your week; tutor registration will open in August and tutoring will start mid-September.

2. Help stock our Take Reading Home libraries. Reading Partners’ Take Reading Home initiative helps build home libraries for our students, and is made possible through book drives hosted by community partners and individuals.  Click here to learn how you can host a book drive.

3. Share our story with your friends and family. Between your days at the  beach, family vacations out of town, and much-deserved time away from work, there are little things you can do each and every day to help spread the word about Reading Partners.

  1. Follow Reading Partners on Facebook and Twitter, and share our posts and tweets. If you tutored with us this past year, post about your experience and tag your friends who might be interested in getting involved.
  2. Organize a lunch and learn in your office! Contact volunteerBAL@readingpartners.org to see if a staff member can come out and speak to your colleagues.
  3. Leave a flier at your local coffee shop, book shop, community center, or gym. Click here for a flier, print at home, and post it everywhere you go this summer!
  4. Contact your neighborhood association and ask if you can come and talk to your neighbors about Reading Partners and how to get involved.

4. Host a fundraiser for Reading Partners. Fundraising is vital to serving 900 students next school year. You can turn any of your summer plans into a fundraiser, and have even more fun knowing that you are helping such an important aspect of our students’ success. Here are a few ideas to spark your imagination:

  1. Open a lemonade stand. Turn this childhood summertime favorite into a way to give back. You can even read the great story of Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand to garner some inspiration.
  2. Host Books and Barre – or any other exercise. Ask your local athletic spot to host a donation class – it can even be outside! In lieu of class fees, ask participants to make a suggested donation to Reading Partners.
  3. Don’t hold back on your hobby. Are you an avid crafter, quilter, or bookbinder? Host a class among friends, or sell your craft in benefit of Reading Partners.
  4. Make a donation – set an example. Donating on our website here is greatly appreciated, and can be a good way to show your network how much you care. Be sure to share why you donate on social media and encourage others to do the same.

5. Conquer your summer reading list. One of the best ways to be an advocate for literacy in your community is by continuing to read yourself. Don’t be fooled by the intro paragraph, as the UC Berkeley Summer Reading List is filled with great titles for more than students! Need more inspiration? Our staff’s top three recommendations are:

  1. Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. Not In My Neighborhood, by Antero Pietila
  3. The Beautiful Struggle, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

6. Get ready to run for Reading Partners. Charm City Run has named us as the beneficiary of the Oktoberfest 5k! Sign up to run in the race on Saturday, October 5, or join us as a volunteer.

7. Show your local Enoch Pratt Free Library some love. The Enoch Pratt is an oasis for book lovers all over Baltimore, providing a variety of summer events for adults and kids. Click here to find a branch near you and see what summer activities they have in store!

8. Volunteer at the Maryland Book Bank.

Volunteers at the Maryland Book Bank

The Maryland Book Bank is an important resource to the city, providing over 1.8 million books to children, teachers, schools, families, and organizations like Reading Partners. They welcome volunteers of all ages to help sort and stock their bookshelves. Check their website to see how you can get involved.

9. Fill your local Little Free Library. Little Free Library is a nonprofit that fosters neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Click here to learn more about Little Free Libraries, and email Carrie Finkelstein (CarrieF@ffee.org) for more information about which libraries need your help the most.  

If you need any guidance or have a question, feel free to contact us at volunteerBAL@readingpartners.org, or gives us a call at (410) 585-7600.

Have a wonderful summer!

Americorps

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