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Raise a Reader

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Dad, girl and book on sofa with bonding, smile and love in storytelling in living room together. Happiness, father and daughter reading story on couch for fantasy, learning and education in home fun.

Raise a Reader is an early literacy program for babies and children ages five and younger, and expands on the mission to empower young children to build essential language and literacy skills, develop a strong imagination, and grow a powerful bond with their caregivers. We know reading aloud to children starting at birth is vital in strengthening early literacy skills and creating a lifelong love of reading. We also know that research shows there are many more ways that growing brains develop early literacy and language skills.  

Raise a Reader focuses on these five key early literacy practices:


Talking is teaching! Listening to words and conversations, especially from a grown-up, is how children learn new sounds and words as well as build essential language skills.

Singing guides children to pay close attention to sounds, rhythm, and rhymes, which is an important step in learning to read.

Reading aloud builds vocabulary, comprehension, world knowledge, and a lifelong love of reading. It also strengthens the bond between you and your little learner.

Writing isn’t just about words and sentences. Scribbling, doodling, drawing, and other fine motor exercises all count, and help your child explore how to share language and ideas.

Playing is the language of learning in early childhood. When a child leads the way through exploration and play, they are not only excited about learning, but also building comprehension, expressive language, abstract thinking, problem-solving skills, and more.

Parent bear reading with child bear. Illustration.

You and your child will work toward completing a thematic activity log for each level of the program. Children will color in one circle every time you read, talk, sing, write, or play together. After all the circles on a log are colored in, stop by to celebrate with a reward and get the next activity log!

Visit the Youth desk or South Branch to register and pick up your reading log, or participate online by visiting or downloading the Beanstack mobile app.

Sponsored by the Mount Prospect Public Library Foundation. 

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