Read Aloud Norfolk

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Free Books for Kids

Organization Profile

Read Aloud Norfolk promotes healthy, successful children and families through reading aloud. We help educate the public about the importance of reading aloud and provide resources (e.g. books) to help ensure that it happens.  In the last 11 years, we've distributed nearly 70,000 books (over $500,000 in book value) at less than a dollar a book through our participation with the First Book in Washington, D.C. and as a Scholastic Literacy Partner.

Read Aloud Norfolk is the primary sponsor of the annual Children's Day Festival at the Sunset Plaza each February with it's "For the Love of Reading" theme.  We are responsible for bringing the Prime Time Family Reading Time program to Norfolk and support its implementation.  We provide copies of "Read to Your Bunny" to new moms and dads as they leave the hospital to encourage them to "read to their bunny 20 minutes and day so someday their bunny will read to them."  We participate regularly in Jumpstart's Read for the Record with Head Start and local preschools to further promote early childhood literacy!

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement a few years back to recommend that pediatricians prescribe "reading aloud" to the children in their families under their care for its many benefits.  Earlier this year (April 9), they announced the results of a study showing a connection between "reading aloud to children" and reduced inattention and hyperactivity among preschool children living in lower income families upon entering school.  The earlier it began and longer it occurred, the greater the effect!

Mem Fox, author of Reading Magic, says that children need to hear 1,000 stories read aloud before they can learn to read.  We're trying to help make sure these stories get read!


Project Description

Read Aloud Norfolk is registered with the First Book National Book Bank in Washington, D.C. This enables us to obtain new, high quality books for just the cost of shipping (75 cents per book).  These books are then distributed to children in the Norfolk area who live near, at or below the poverty level.  We typically work with Head Start and elementary schools serving a high percentage of students eligible for "free or reduced lunches".  These children live in homes where books are a luxury and not part of everyday life!