Raising A Reader

Launched 2006


Bringing joy and structure to reading at home

Raising A Reader Massachusetts (RAR-MA) empowers parents and caregivers to become their children’s first teachers. They work with families to access books and develop, practice and maintain reading habits at home. The RAR-MA curriculum centers around dialogic reading, utilizing interactive strategies that promote healthy brain development and providing families with simple yet effective ways to share books together.

In 2006, reading readiness among kindergartners in Boston was low and data showed children who are not proficient readers by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school. In an effort to close the literacy gap and foster a love of reading, GreenLight invested in bringing Raising A Reader to Massachusetts.

Backed by over 30 years of research, RAR-MA’s model highlights the significant impact of regular reading sessions with a parent or caregiver before kindergarten on a child’s academic success. More than 39 independent evaluations have demonstrated that the RAR-MA model improves literacy skills among young readers.

To expand their reach, RAR-MA collaborates with community organizations and early childhood centers. These partnerships enable RAR-MA to implement their evidence-based dual intervention model with more families, effectively closing the literacy gap among children from birth to age six and positively influencing their success in school and beyond.

Raising A Reader MA: Closing the literacy gap

Raising A Reader Massachusetts’ Impact in Boston

In 2022-23


families reached


of families reading together at least three times a week


increase in the number of families visiting the library twice a month

In Boston

of Raising a Reader families read together at least 3 times a week, a result of the partnerships with community organizations and early childhood centers like those in Dorchester

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In Boston

children and families reached by Raising a Reader-MA in 2021-22 including through centers like the Brockton Adult Learning Center

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In Boston

Raising a Reader-MA has implementation partners in 20 cities across Massachusetts helping to prioritize early literacy

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Eric and his mother explore the books from the red bag

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