RVA Reads - Committed to Improving Childhood Literacy

The Richmond Public Library, the Office of Community Wealth Building and Richmond Public Schools (RPS) have partnered to create RVA Reads to improve literacy in the city by improving access to books in low income homes of preschool children. RVA Reads is designed to expand or create home libraries for three and four year olds, increase the time parents and children read together and engage children and families in library services.

The program provides one book a month to hundreds of pre-k children participating in the Virginia Preschool Initiative. To introduce the books each month, community volunteers visit pre-k classrooms to lead fun, interactive readings with the students. These readings take place at the RPS preschool centers at Blackwell, Maymont and Mary Scott schools as well as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Preschool Learning Center. Members of the City Administration and parent volunteers will lead the next reading event at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Preschool Learning Center on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 9:30 a.m.

RVA Reads began as a pilot program in 2015. As a result of the program’s success, Mayor Dwight C. Jones designated funding in the FY16 budget to continue the program. The first books included in the program were The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, and Pete the Rocking Cat in my School Shoes by Erik Litwin. The December selection is a bilingual book by Alice and Martin Provensen entitled El Libro de las Estaciones / Book of Seasons.