Raising a Reader

“I consider the first three years of life to be our sweet spot… It is during these first three years of life that we – parents, caregivers, teachers, legislators, business leaders – can have a profound effect on a child’s future by ensuring that all children have opportunities to strengthen and exercise their growing brains, which will create a solid foundation for future success in school.” Donna DiFillippo, Executive Director, Raising a Reader MA.

To give every child an equal opportunity for achievement, Family ACCESS collaborates with Raising A Reader MA to deliver its signature “red bag” book rotation program and literacy instruction. By engaging parents in a routine of daily book sharing with their child from birth to age five, Raising a Reader fosters healthy brain development, parent-child bonding, and the early literacy skills essential for school success.

Debra Brush


How parents read to children is as important as how often they read. Raising a Reader turns reading a story into an exciting interactive experience where adult and child switch roles – the child becomes an active participant in the storytelling with the assistance of the adult. Parents learn to interact with their child by asking simple questions about the story or the pictures in a book. Literacy specialists report that the program, “empowers parents who can or can’t read at any level to engage with their children over a book,” and “offers a new way for a parent to approach book sharing and reading time.”

Groups meet in Newton, Arlington, Burlington, Lexington, Needham, Wellesley, Waltham and Woburn. Sessions run for 12 weeks, and we start new sessions year round. To learn more about what’s available in your area, contact Director Debra Brush.