Read-Aloud's New Year: Helen Tadeo Spotlight, Website update, possible summer program, In Memoriam: Don DeCamp.
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Winter Fundraiser

Thank you to all who donated to the winter fundraiser!  Without your contributions, Read-Aloud could not continue to provide services to the children and families in the district.  And, you do give in so many ways.  Your time with the children is such a precious gift and the children benefit from your special attention to them, your active listening and your reading stories aloud.  There is that magic moment when the children make profound connections to the power of words and actions.  They let you know that they can read and they want to show you! 

Possible Summer Program for Read-Aloud

Read-Aloud is part of the West Contra Costa Literacy Coalition, which has received a two-year grant from the Hellman Foundation.  This grant will support the ongoing capacity-building work of the Coalition and will help support the Campaign to enroll an additional 1,000 children in Summer Literacy Programming in 2017.  West Contra Costa Public Education Fund, a key partner, has also pledged funds toward the Summer Campaign. 
Richmond Community Foundation and the Coalition hosted a Summer Briefing with community-based literacy partners and local funders.  Direct service providers presented their plans for high-quality, innovative summer literacy programs for young children in Richmond and West County in 2017.  Funders were able to ask questions, interact with providers, and learn about the literacy landscape in Richmond and West County.

If you are interested in becoming a summer reader, please let the office know.  We will keep you in touch with next steps.  This is all still in the planning stage!

The Greatest Gift of All

Marilyn Nye, the founder of the program, said of it: ”This program is elegantly simple but a potent tool for literacy”.  I often think of this, as it is so complete in its assessment.  Many of the children and families we serve have not had exposure to rich, contextual language.  Children lacking in these experiences are at a disadvantage when they start school.  Language organizes the brain and repetition and expressive exposure through interactions stimulates the child’s knowledge of words and sound.  There is a direct connection from oral to written language.  Reading aloud helps children develop a wider range of language and provides them with opportunities to become joyful readers in their own right.  As Dr. Timothy Shanahan said “Literacy is bound up in everything they do”.  So the greatest gift you can give is to read to children.

Student Anxiety

Several readers have recently reported that children have shown anxiety due to the political atmosphere.  We must reassure the children that we are there for them, but we cannot promise what we have no control over.   We all need to be aware that for some of our children and families they no longer feel safe.   Be sure to actively listen to what the children tell you and if needed tell your coordinator so that they can inform the teacher of the children's feelings.  And thank you for being there for the children and families.

Last Orientation of 2016-17

Will be held Thursday February 16, 10:30-noon at the office. 

Please RSVP to (510)237-0735 or if you plan to attend, and let us know if stairs are a problem.

Outreach Event: Checking out the books before the program.

Outreach for Program Year 2017-18

Our best recruiters are you the readers.  It is your passion and dedication that continues to bring volunteers to the program.  It is quite remarkable that we have such long-time readers and recruiters.  One difficulty for many volunteer organizations is the turnover of those volunteers.  This just doesn’t happen to Read-Aloud and is a recommendation in and of itself.  The more readers we have the more children we can serve.  So thank you for all that you do.

Volunteer spot on the web:

We would like to add more volunteers to our website! We have your photos, we just need a few words from you.  What do you love about the program, a special moment with a child, why do you continue to be a reader?  These are some reflections that might inspire you to send in a paragraph or two for the web site.  We would truly love to feature you.  So share your experiences with us and we will post it on the site.  Julie Haseldon is our most recent addition.

The website is being updated with other items, such as the materials that were discussed at the Orientations (Handbook, video and read aloud lesson links).

Coordinator Spotlight: Helen Tadeo

I joined Read-Aloud in 2014 as a volunteer reader at Coronado and became the site coordinator at Dover in 2015.  Before working with Read Aloud, I was a bookseller for an independent children's publisher while caring for my daughter at home. 
I have enjoyed collecting  books since I was child and have fond memories of listening to stories like Chicken Soup With Rice on record while reading along.  As a 5 year old, I can vividly remember making a jigsaw puzzle of Rapunzel while my mother read the accompanying picture book.  While earning my degree in Human Development  at Cal State East Bay,  one of my favorite courses was Children's Literature.  As an adult, I continued to collect children's books focusing mostly on multicultural literature. 
It has been so rewarding to share my favorite books with my 7 year old daughter Asha since the day she was born and so fulfilling to facilitate the sharing of stories with the Read-Aloud volunteers and students at Dover.

dd's DISCOUNTS/First Book Storytime Event in January

For the second year running dd’s of Richmond has supported the Read-Aloud program through their Youth Literacy Fundraiser (partnering with First Book).  dd’s campaign raised 175% of their goal, for a total of $3,614 in book credit.  Read-Aloud and dd’s teamed up to provide a read-aloud event to families in the district.  It was a great success, with both adults and children listening intently to the stories.  Plenty of books, pencils and munchies were gifted along with baby dinosaurs, dd’s trademark.  Also to be seen enjoying the readings was a large dinosaur, who was also fully engaged in the story time.

Shop at Lucky/SaveMart or Amazon?

Did you use a S.H.A.R.E.S.  card at Lucky/SaveMart? The cards are no longer valid, but you can register your phone number or “Lucky You Rewards Card” to earn scrip for Read-Aloud (no cost to you).  Go to to sign-up or add Read-Aloud to your existing stable of charities.
Amazon Smile is another way to earn scrip for Read-Aloud by shopping (0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases).  Buy through the website, and set your charity as Read-Aloud Volunteer Program in your account settings.  If you make many purchases through Amazon, you can cycle your designated charity through other worthy causes, too.

In Memoriam

Don DeCamp, husband of longtime Stege (Coronado 2015-16) Reader, Donna DeCamp.  For more information, check  out the family’s  website (

Copyright © 2017 Read-Aloud Volunteer Program, All rights reserved.

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