Literacy as a foundation: Raising a Reader – MA Jul 20, 2023 Boston DJ, a lead preschool teacher at Nurtury Learning Lab, highlights the positive impact of their partnership with Raising a Reader- MA, emphasizing how the program provides accessible literacy training for families and serves as a gateway to opportunities for students beyond the classroom. Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email DJ is a lead preschool teacher at Nurtury Learning Lab in Jamaica Plain, a partner of Raising a Reader MA’s (RAR-MA) since 2015. When asked to describe the best part of Nurtury’s partnership with RAR-MA, DJ said, “It provides literacy training for homes of families that would not otherwise be able to learn it.” With this partnership, The Nurtury Learning Lab has been able to serve as a lending library for children in the community who might not have access to books outside of school. DJ sees the impact and adds, “Kids and families love learning how to take care of the books, asking questions about the stories, and being able to develop a passion for books and reading beyond the classroom.” This partnership gets students excited about reading and parents and caregivers, as well as teachers, have learned a thing or two, also. DJ recalls one parent who received a book in Spanish and called concerned, “I think the parents learn just as much as the children to be creative in their reading, and in this particular case it was a great conversation starter to introduce kids to read by pictures and see things in other languages and cultures.” DJ also shared, “RAR-MA is especially helpful [for me]. Even things like the handouts from something as small as how to handle the Red Book Bags and care for books, it’s nice to have those things in place to start conversations with families.” While Raising A Reader’s Red Book Bag remains a symbol well-loved by students at the Nurtury Lab, implementers like DJ recognize the real benefits literacy-focused programs like RAR-MA provide, “The power of reading gives people opportunity. It is a gateway to the world and a part of the foundation that our students will use every day in their lives. From things as small as reading street signs to having a strong education, literacy is a foundational gateway.” Opening doors for women of color in tech: Per Scholas Next Story Boston Opening doors for women of color in tech: Per Scholas Through Per Scholas, Carla overcame barriers and lack of representation in the tech industry, gaining confidence and skills through the program to pursue her goals in the field.