The Children's Reading Foundation was started on the belief that the entire community is responsible for reading proficiency and the goal that 90 percent of students will read proficiently by the end of third grade.
1996 - The Children’s Reading Foundation Is Formed
Five citizen founders and eight Washington school districts come together to start the foundation with the belief that the entire community is responsible and part of the solution to reading proficiency. The goal is adopted that 90 percent of students will read proficiently by the end of third grade.
The Children’s Reading Foundation first supported students in Benton and Franklin Counties in Washington to support attaining the high standards required by the state’s Educational Reform Act of 1993. The foundation later expanded to become The Children’s Reading Foundation national office and the Mid-Columbia Chapter, both headquartered in Kennewick, Washington.
The Children’s Reading Foundation’s research, messaging, tools, and programs spread nationwide to help children read on grade level by the end of third grade and develop the required skills for a successful school career.
This tutoring program trains volunteers to tutor struggling readers in first, second, and third grades. Supplemental reading sessions help students improve literacy skills, so they avoid falling behind at the beginning of their education.
2002 - READY! for Kindergarten Is Created, Sets Age-Appropriate Learning Targets
The READY! for Kindergarten school readiness program is launched to engage parents and caregivers of children from birth to age five in pre-kindergarten learning and development activities. READY! workshops provide parents and caregivers with the knowledge, tools, and techniques to be the most effective teachers they can be to nurture a child’s learning, so they have skills necessary on day one of kindergarten.
2007 - Annual Growth, Catch-Up Growth Book Is Released Featuring the Work of The Children’s Reading Foundation
The book details easy-to-replicate and proven methods to ensure student achievement in reading and math, including establishing The Children’s Reading Foundation community chapters and READY! for Kindergarten programs. Annual Growth, Catch-Up Growth can be purchased from the Products & Resources page.
2009 - Independent Research Proves READY! Makes a Difference
A grant from the Washington State Department of Early Learning funds an independent research study showing 79 percent of children whose parents attended READY! for Kindergarten workshops met the kindergarten reading readiness standard, compared to 55 percent of children whose parents did not attend, regardless of family income level. READY! attendees also outperformed non-attendees in math readiness.
2010 - Research Again Proves Effectiveness of the READY! for Kindergarten Program
Another independent research study shows students of families exposed to READY! for Kindergarten had statistically significant higher scores on a pre-reading letter naming test than did those whose families were not exposed to READY! (average scores were 16.35 and 9.40 respectively). This study took place in the Othello School District in Washington state.
A gift from the Regina D. Weiss Literacy Legacy funds the pilot READ Up: Stop the Summer Slide program. This literacy program is launched to help reverse the “summer slide,” a situation where students lose up to three months of reading skills when school is out. 2012 – The READ Up Program Launches to Help Reverse “Summer Slide” READ Up is offered nationwide and features eight weekly free storytimes for children from birth to age eight and their parents or caregivers.
2012 - The Children’s Reading Foundation Receives Innovative Approaches to Literacy Grant
The Children’s Reading Foundation is awarded a $2.87 million federal grant to expand programming to 19 high-need school districts in Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, Tennessee, Indiana, and Michigan.
2013 - READY! for Kindergarten Receives “Top 100 Program” Distinction
Readers of District Administration magazine, a national publication informing superintendents and other senior school district leaders about products and programs that improve educational outcomes and operational efficiency, select READY! for Kindergarten as a “Top 100 Program.”
2014 - The Children’s Reading Foundation Receives Second Innovative Approaches to Literacy Grant
The U.S. Department of Education awards The Children’s Reading Foundation a $3.8 million federal grant to expand programming to 16 high-poverty school districts and communities. States include Oregon, Washington, Idaho, New Mexico, Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and Maryland.
The foundation launches its inaugural Read With a Child Week, September 18-24, 2016. Nationwide reading events are held to emphasize the vital importance of daily reading with children from birth through third grade.
2017 - READY! for Kindergarten Receives Washington STEM Foundation Grant
The foundation is awarded the grant to develop a READY! for Math® prototype using its READY! for Kindergarten play with a purpose approach to help build early math skills for children ages three through five.
The Children’s Reading Foundation releases a national school readiness study, “Readiness for Entering Kindergarten: The Impact on Future Academic Achievement.” The study establishes children’s kindergarten starting points predict their academic achievement in fifth grade and beyond.
The findings have far-reaching implications as communities struggle to close the achievement gap. The research indicates that if families, schools, and communities focus on a child’s early learning in the years before kindergarten, the achievement gap will narrow significantly.
2020 - READY! For Kindergarten E-Learning Workshops Launch
To mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on School Readiness and Parental Engagement, the Foundation launched the READY! for Kindergarten self-paced e-learning workshops in English in Spanish. Tens of thousands of parents have benefited from this innovative delivery model.
2021 - Foundation Marks 25 Years of Serving Families, Schools, and Communities
For 25 years and counting, The Children’s Reading Foundation and its program partners nationwide and in Canada have provided literacy and early learning programs to ensure children learn to read early and well, thereby reaching their full potential in school and in life.
To continue to support families and caregivers year-round, free thematic resources like booklists, activity sheets, crafts, games, and reading tips are provided to help meet the goal of Reading Together 20 Minutes Every DayTM and Playing With a PurposeTM. Click to learn more.