One of my favorite aspects of Twitter is the chance to follow people and organizations who champion causes dear to my heart. For example, here are five great nonprofits fighting hard to get kids reading:
Founded in 1966, RIF is the oldest and largest children's and family nonprofit literacy organization in the United States. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provided 4.4 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources last year.
The President's proposed budget cuts funding for this great program, so now is the time to contact your Senator and urge him/her to keep RIF alive.
RIF is represented eloquently on Twitter by Carol Hampton Rasco, CEO of RIF.
First Book provides free and low cost new books to schools and libraries serving children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. First Book has already distributed more than 65 million free and low cost books in thousands of communities nationwide. Why not see if your school or library qualifies?
Aesah, Nisha, Bonnie, Joan and Greg capably share tweeting responsibilities for First Book.
Everybody Wins brings volunteer mentors into low-income schools for weekly one-on-one reading experiences. The equation is simple—one mentor, one child, one book at a time—through power lunches, story times, and book clubs.
Rich Greif, National Executive Director, does a brilliant job tweeting for Everybody Wins.
Reach Out and Read
Pediatric healthcare providers (including pediatricians, family physicians, and pediatric nurse practitioners) are trained in the three-part ROR model to promote early literacy and school readiness. In the exam room, doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud to their young children every day, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement. The pediatric primary care provider gives every child 6 months through 5 years old a new, developmentally-appropriate children's book to take home and keep. In the waiting room, displays, information, and books create a literacy-rich environment. Where possible, volunteer readers entertain the children, modeling for parents the pleasures— and techniques—of reading aloud.
Reach out and Read is connected and engaged on Twitter.
Since 1965, the federal government has invested more than $100 million to find out why so many children have problems learning to read and what can be done. Thanks to that research, we now know how to identify children at risk and how to help them before they fail. Reading Rockets' mission is to take that research-based and best-practice information and make it available to as many people as possible through the power and reach of PBS television and online.
Reading Rockets is an active member of the literacy community on Twitter.
I'm discovering many others who are passionate about getting kids to read via social media. You, too, may follow my growing list of literacy champions on Twitter. And if you have others to add, let me know.