About Kids Read Now
Kids Read Now changes the lives of thousands of children around the United States each year by giving back to schools and the kids. They empower children through four essential pillars: choice, challenges, rewards, and parental engagement. These pillars helped create a successful summer reading program that spark a passion for reading that can be nurtured within their local communities.
Kids Read Now's vision is to help eliminate the summer reading slide and encourage more early childhood reading. Last year they served over 38,000 kids from 82 school districts in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and New York, and every summer they send out about 5,000 books per week! Their goal is to reach 40,000-50,000 kids next year. Nearly 90% of educators who have used Kids Read Now would recommend this program to other school districts.
The Importance of Early Childhood Reading
Early childhood reading is a very important time in a child’s life. K-3 is one of the most crucial times for a child to keep up with their reading education. Over 75% of disadvantaged children in the United States do not have the reading skills they need to enter fourth grade. The summer reading slide is responsible for over 65% of the learning gap between different economic societies, and Kids Read Now helps by giving those children the opportunity to gain needed literary skills through reading. These books help develop a child’s literature skills by encouraging creative thinking, improving vocabulary skills, and bringing communities together around the importance of early reading.
"Poor, minority, male students a year or more behind at this point have a 50% likelihood of dropping out, 40% will serve jail time, and only 24% will ever earn more than minimum wage."
~ Leib Lurie, Founder
Kids Read Now Mission
Kids Read Now's four major areas of focus help create a successful summer reading program for children and parents:
Choice: Each child from grades K-3 gets to choose from a list of 150 books and pick nine books they want to be sent to them. Three books are sent at the end of the school year, and throughout the summer as they report on a book, a new book from their list is sent to them! Each child from grades K-3 gets to choose from a list of 150 books and pick nine books they want to be sent to them. Three books are sent at the end of the school year, and throughout the summer as they report on a book, a new book from their list is sent to them!
Challenge: Discovery questions are printed on stickers that are placed inside each book, and each book has its own list of questions written by the founder of Kids Read Now, Barb Lurie. After reading the first three books, the kids can answer the four questions. The questions prompt kids to consider the following concepts:
1. Text to text (what they read)
2. Text to self (how does what they read apply to them?)
3. Text to world (how does what they read apply to today’s world?)
4. Question to spark creativity
Kids get to keep the books they read to help build their own home library! Once they have read and answered at least one of the discovery questions they report in a predetermined book code by text, email, phone, or via the app. Once the code is reported, the next book is automatically sent to their home. This keeps a steady flow of new reading material throughout the summer months.
Reward: Kids Read Now loves to encourage reading skills through enjoyment and pride. After finishing each book and answering the questions, not only does receiving another book reward each child, but they also receive a certificate of completion at the beginning of the next school year. There is also an option for the schools to offer a prize to the students, or to earn books for their school libraries!
Parental Engagement: Kids Read Now helps keep parents engaged with their child's reading progress by contacting them every month to see how their child is coming along. Each parent is invited to a family reading night as well, where they receive a parent guide containing everything they need to know about Kids Read Now and the summer reading program. 94% of parents say they would recommend the program to other parents!
Kids Read Now and Platypus Media
We are always on the lookout for ways we can support early childhood education and literacy efforts all around the world, and we were thrilled to support Kids Read Now with our Bilingual Nurtured and Nuzzled Book Set, which provides children with the chance to develop bilingual literary skills and help encourage more reading throughout their education.
About Bonnie Lurie, Logistics Director of Kids Read Now
Bonnie Lurie is the logistics director of the nonprofit organization Kids Read Now. Bonnie is the daughter-in-law of Kids Read Now Co-founders Barb and Leib Lurie. Wanting to make a difference in the world, Bonnie began her career at Kids Read Now in Troy, Ohio in 2015.
Kids Read Now was founded in 2012 with just 60 books that catered to grade 1-3 and a mission to empower students and families to make good reading choices through challenges, rewards, and parental engagement. Bonnie and the rest of the Kids Read Now team work hard to make a difference in a child’s life. Along with dedication and support from local organizations, they have made amazing strides in their journey to support local schools and children in reading!