What is the Read Aloud Program?
The Read Aloud Program sends trained volunteers to preschool classrooms in Denver to read with children once a week for 30 minutes each week. The program serves children from lower-income families who are attending Head Start and early childhood education centers. We are currently serving classroom in-person as well as in a virtual capacity.
- To provide children with the opportunity to experience the love of books and the joy of reading.
- To develop pre-reading skills among Denver's preschoolers.
- To promote the use of the The Denver Public Library among preschoolers, their families and their teachers.
The Read Aloud Program originated in 1988 with the Library Services Construction Act grant. It was designed as outreach to Denver's children to bring the library into their communities. Volunteers read on a one time basis.
The program expanded with more grants. Volunteers then read once a week over a period of time. This expansion allowed the volunteer reader, the teacher and the children to create a bond with each other, as well as with books and stories.
With a new grant in 1991, funds were used to create a separate Read Aloud book collection. This enabled readers to leave the books in the classroom between visits. Also the number of Read Aloud volunteers grew from 30 to 75.
Currently, volunteers read in more than 300 classrooms to approximately 5,500 children each week. Each child who participates will hear about 80 books in a 14 week session and will receive a gift book at the end.
The Read Aloud Program is generously supported through grants from local foundations and individual donors.