In 2000, the San Mateo County library system piloted a program called Raising A Reader in 12 Northern California child care centers. The program taught low-income parents a daily routine of cuddling and reading to their young children. With its low-cost method for preparing children for kindergarten, Raising A Reader expanded to 175 communities across 33 states by 2008. Sixteen independent evaluations showed that the program fostered parent-child bonding and children’s cognitive development,...

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