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REadingADvantage, Inc.

Changing a generation - one child, one book at a time

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Welcome to REading ADvantage (READ) Inc. Our mission is to encourage parents to read to their children a minimum of twenty minutes a day beginning with pregnancy. We do this by providing children, ages 0-8, with free books to strengthen their reading, vocabulary, and comprehension skills to enhance their lifelong learning experience. READ believes that early literacy intervention increases a child's success in school and in life.

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READ Spotlight - Deborah Polk

I hadn't seen Shirley Kalinowski in years when we crossed paths at the African American Health Expo 2013 at my alma mater, Pittsburg High School. I was pleasantly surprised to see Shirley at the venue and was intrigued by her program. Shirley and I have a history, as we are both former Conta Costa County employees. Shirley was actually my Manager for several years as well as my mentor for many years prior to her retirement.

On this bright, warm, sunny day, Shirley was standing in a booth in front of a table filled with books. After pleasantries and hugs, Shirley began to share the work she was doing with a non-profit called REading ADvantage, inc.which provides free books to children. We exchanged contact information and subsequently met for lunch. During lunch, Shirley shared more information about the organization and we discussed the study, "The 30 Million Word Gap". I was appalled and saddened by what I learned.

After thoroughly reading the study, I was convinced that "bridging the gap" was not just what I wanted to do, but what I needed to do. The enormity of the problem has become personal to me and I am committed to doing all I can to impact the disparity. I observe, live, and experience the results of the problem daily and am excited about the possibilities of READ which gives me hope for our current and future generations. The passion for the work we do, the importance of the message and the people we have yet to reach, is the impetus behind READ and the reason for my involvement.

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Did You Know?

Words ... words ... words ... how do babies develop their vocabulary? Quite simply, they learn from hearing the words of the people around them. "If the child has never heard the word, the child will never say the word; and if you have neither heard it nor said it, it's pretty tough to read it and to write it." (From Jim Trelease's introduction in Read-aloud Rhymes for the Very Young, selected by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Marc Brown, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.)


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REadingADvantage, Inc.
Changing a generation - one child, one book at a time.
1145 Second St., Suite A, #113
Brentwood, CA 94513
Phone: (925) 698-0098

Questions about Reading Advantage? E-mail our director, Deborah Polk,
Questions about the web site? E-mail our Web Master,

All material © REadingADvantage, Inc.

Site started: May 8, 2014.
This page updated: December 14, 2021