Our mission is to foster early literacy bonds between children and their parents to ensure that all young children from Aspen to Parachute develop a love of books and the skills to become successful readers.

Dear Friends, The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it and continues to create challenges and opportunities for connection and inspiration. It is more important than ever for parents to hold their children close and assure them that they are safe and loved. Families find comfort and connection through their daily reading routines, and reading aloud together fosters healthy brain development and builds the vocabulary and language skills necessary for school success. For the past 16 years, Raising A Reader has partnered with local schools, libraries, and parents to foster a love of books and literacy in more than 10,000 young children. Families who participate in our programs spend 30-60% more time reading together, and children arrive at kindergarten ready to learn. In these unprecedented times, Raising A Reader is adapting programs and pursuing collaborative partnerships to reach at-risk families with young children – at home, online, and in school. We continue to empower parents by providing high-quality reading resources to ensure that children do not fall into the widening educational gap during the pandemic. Thanks to our generous donors’ support, Raising A Reader has been able to respond to our families’ and communities’ evolving needs. For this, we are deeply grateful. We wish health, peace, and joy for you and your loved ones in the coming days. No matter what may come our way, we hope you find wonder and comfort between the pages of your well-loved favorites, as well as new books you’ve yet to discover. Yours truly, Cindy Blachly and the Raising A Reader Team The RAR Team at a socially distanced meeting earlier this year.

Raising A Reader Empowers and Inspires Families to Read Together Every Day Weekly Interactive Live Storytime RAR’s Facebook pages offer many highquality learning and reading resources, including weekly live storytime in English and Spanish, facilitated by Associate Director Iliana Renteria Bernal. Each week, more than 1,000 families view RAR’s Live Storytime. Bolsitas Rojas/ Little Red Bags This program brings together families whose children are not enrolled in preschool for weekly literacy coaching sessions, storytime, book-related and connection. Each week, families Zoom in from home to view live storytime and take part in activities. RAR staff model effective read-aloud techniques and encourage parent engagement and positive literacy behaviors at home. Each month, families receive the red book bags and activities to inspire them to establish an interactive daily reading routine. When it is safe to return to weekly in-person meetings, families will gather together again in our community libraries for these sessions.

123 Let’s Read Each month during the school year, teachers and students receive a new storybook, a gift to keep, along with a list of suggested activities to stimulate brain development, to build vocabulary and inspire imagination. If classrooms transition online learning, all students have the same books, making it easy for teachers to use the books and activities to create a bridge between school and home, and parents have the tools to nurture their budding readers. Red Book Bags To promote parent-child bonding and increase read-aloud time at home, RAR provides families of preschool and kindergarten children with more than 75 storybooks during the school year. Each week, children take home a red bag filled with four books to borrow and return for a new books the following week. Included are tips for parents on how to make reading together fun and engaging. Blue Bag Library Days Each spring, preschoolers to their RAR introduces local libraries so that they and their families can access books and other free resources. Children receive their own Raising A Reader library book bag and a library card to check out their first books.

We Reached 1,296 Families in 2019-20 From Aspen to Parachute, Raising A Reader served families across 90 miles, in three counties and four school districts. 1,296 Families Served Numbers Per Town Silt 43 Parachute 130 Rifle 253 Carbondale 75 Number of Families Served Per Program Red Book Bag: 975 Bolsitas Rojas/Little Red Bags: 105 123 Let’s Read: 206 Motheread: 10 moms/18 children Blue Bag Library Days: 0 due to COVID closures Parent Education: 524 Snowmass Village 31 Aspen 143 El Jebel 10 Basalt 158 New Castle 106 Glenwood Springs 347 In most local public schools in our region, fifty percent or more of children enter kindergarten lacking the basic oral language skills necessary for reading and school success. More often than not, these children are behind because they don’t hear enough language at home. Many parents work long hours, commute long distances, and struggle with distractions in their lives. Parents are often unaware of the links between healthy brain development and language in a child’s formative years from birth to age five. 45% of RAR children receive free or reduced price lunch 48% of RAR families speak mostly Spanish at home 50% of RAR parents have a high school education or less

More Time Reading Together Parent pre-and-post survey data show that families increase the amount of reading together while participating in our programs. Families who participated in RAR’s school-based Red Book Bag and 123 Let’s Read programs spent 30% more time reading together. Families who attended RAR’s weekly Bolsitas Rojas/Little Red Bags sessions spent 62% more time reading with their children, which amounts to an additional 52 days and 520 minutes of reading and cuddling together. Possible through Partnership time 87 CLASSROOMS in 25 schools 8 COUNTY LIBRARIES 124 GENEROUS DONORS

FINANCIALS Individuals 11% CONTRIBUTIONS Foundations Government Businesses Individuals Earned Income In-Kind/Other Total Revenue EXPENSES Program Administrative Total Expenses Foundations 36% $ $ 85,286 70,450 $ 29,299 $ 25,960 $ 21,620 $ 3,786 $ 236,401 $ 200,375 $ 34,784 $ 235,159 Program 85% Businesses 12% Government 30% In Kind/Other 2% Administrative 15% Earned Income 9% 2019 - 2020 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Angie Davlyn, President Dr. Anne Lorenson, Vice President Kelly Boggs, Treasurer Hilary Drummond Jamie Nims Brett Lear

DONORS We are deeply grateful for the support of all our donors over the years. Please note that the list below reflects only those who gave during the fiscal year July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020. $20,000+ Anonymous Buell Foundation Federal Paycheck Protection Program $10,000 - $19,999 Chevron Aspen Community Foundation Pitkin County Kids First Morgridge Family Foundation $5,000 - $9,999 Adam and Melony Lewis Garfield County Board of County Commissioners $1,000 - $4,999 Alpenglow Foundation Alpine Bank Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund Bessie Minor Swift Foundation Kelly and Emily Boggs Castaways Foundation City of Aspen Lulu Colby Wells Fargo Friedman Family Foundation Gallegos Corporation Garvik Construction Laura and Michael Kaplan Sheila and Bill Lambert Rifle Community Foundation Rotary Club of Aspen George Shaver The Spidell Foundation Thrift Shop of Aspen Town of Basalt Town of Snowmass Village Umbrella Roofing United Way of Eagle River Valley Robin Van Norman Walmart - Glenwood Springs Frank and Tamara Woods J. Robert Young Foundation $500 - $999 Aspen Elks Lodge #224 Grand Valley Kiwanis Nancy and Barton Levin Mandy and John Murray Jayne and Bill Poss Terri and Sam Potter SGM Town of Carbondale $100 - $499 Anonymous Jenny Ayers John Bennett Shannon Birzon Cindy Blachly Rick Blauvelt and Candace Goodwin Rick Carlson Colorado Gives Paula Derevensky Hilary Drummond Deborah Fifer Tish and Dean Filiss Harriman Construction Judith Huston Jennifer Jackson Melissa Jankovsky Robert Johnson Jill Knaus

Tracy and Glen Larner Brett Lear William Lightstone Anne Lorenson Jamie Nims Caroline Norquist Lynda Palevsky Marci and Robert Pattillo Courtney and Dan Petre Elizabeth Reynolds Mary Ellen Rogers Rebecca Ruland and Terry Shanahan Pam Yarus and Theron Russell Marina Sharpe Amelia Shelley Herbert Shugrue Lorraine Spector Robin Tolan Up to $99 Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty Kimbo Brown-Schirato Georgia Chamberlain Nicole Christianson Lisa Dancing Light Angie Davlyn Deborah Dawson and Dean Gordon Peter and Julie Dolan Vivian and Ed Elbert Dana Fantauzzo Nancy Frizell Ruth Harrison Susan Keenan Sarah Kemme and Bill Anschuetz Wewer Keohane Pamela Lauman Sandra and Donald Marlin Sharon McLin Carol Pasternak Karen Pierson Gary Schalla Donna Shugrue Susan Slater Tami Solondz Joe Sontag Margaret Steldt Donna Ward Dorothy and Michael Wells Susan and Vincent Yoder Thelma and Gary Zabel In Kind Alpine Bank Aspen Times Basalt Regional Library English in Action Garfield County Libraries Glenwood Springs Post Independent La Tricolor Pinwill’s Frozen Yogurt Pitkin County Library Raising A Reader National Renee Ramge River Center of New Castle Sopris Sun Frank Taverna The Art Base The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading. It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child alone, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud – it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony. – Meme Fox

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is best of all. – Jacqueline Kennedy

For more information or to support us, please contact Cindy Blachly | Executive Director PO Box 2533, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 970-274-0618 | info@rar4kids.org | www.rar4kids.org Success starts at home with a parent, a child, and a book.

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