The Read Aloud Program

The Read Aloud Program isn’t your ordinary reading program for kids – it takes the stress out of reading, transforms families and bonds communities.

The Key to Success

For decades, reading aloud has been promoted as the key to children’s success in school and in life. Evidence clearly shows that when parents regularly read aloud to their children, they simultaneously exercise children’s neurons and build emotional strength, which prepares children for academic and career success. That’s why Read Aloud America overhauled the typical reading program for kids and created something that works: the Read Aloud Program (RAP). For over 20 years, RAP has bonded families through the transformative power of reading aloud.

About the Read Aloud Program

RAP is an evening reading program for kids and parents, hosted by elementary and middle schools throughout a school semester. RAP sessions are festive and pressure-free, immersing families and the school community in an experience that links reading with fun. For decades, RAP has inspired communities of lifelong readers by engaging whole families in reading activities that are:
Jed Reading Aloud




RAP Goals

RAP’s five goals aim to nurture a love of reading and equip parents and teachers with the tools necessary to cultivate reading-friendly environments.

Encourage parents and teachers to read aloud to children on a regular basis.

Provide resources to help parents and teachers choose books and read to children.

Demonstrate the pleasure of reading and its relevance to daily life.

Nurture a love of reading in parents and awaken a love of reading in children.

Encourage families to limit television, computer, and screen time and read.

RAP Benefits

Part of RAP’s innovative approach involves uniting the home, school, and local communities in a collaborative action plan to promote reading aloud. This collaborative approach impacts all stakeholders in significant ways.

For Families

  • Promotes closeness and communication.
  • Gets children interested in books.
  • Helps adults choose books and find reading help.
  • Increases children’s chances for success in school.

For Schools

  • Increases students interest in reading
  • Gets parents involved in their children’s education
  • Utilizes school facilities for community enrichment
  • Makes students feel more positive about school

For Communities

  • Brings families together in an atmosphere of fun and learning
  • Involves community agencies and individuals in supporting education
  • Helps creates lifelong readers and leaders
  • Helps create a community of informed citizens and literate workers

How RAP Works

RAP takes a traditional reading program for kids and families and transforms the experience into something that leaves a lasting effect. RAP gathers hundreds of parents, kids, school staff, and local volunteers for a fun night of read-alouds, book swaps, resources, dinner, and prizes.

Schools host RAP for 4-6 sessions during one semester. Sometimes schools opt for a 1-session “mini RAP.” Local sponsors provide funding, and community volunteers assist with coordination and logistics.

RAP Night at a Glance

RAP is unlike any other reading program for kids. Combining the familiarity of a school community with the excitement of a fun-filled festival, RAP engages participants in two hours of interactive games, read-alouds, and family fun time. Because RAP is hosted in the evening, each session is affectionately called “RAP Night.”

What happens on RAP Night?

Arrival & Family Time
5:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Parents, children, faculty, and community members and volunteers gather in the school cafeteria. During this time, RAP attendees can grab snacks, visit the book swap table, listen to music and relax with friends.

Interactive Activities
6:00 - 6:20 p.m.

The RAP Presenter begins by leading fun interactive activities or games. Then, he or she will dismiss children to read aloud rooms in an orderly fashion.

Read-Aloud & Resource Time
6:20 - 7:10 p.m.

Children will meet in age-level groups where a trained volunteer reader will read aloud to them. Meanwhile, adults will remain in the cafeteria, where the RAP presenter will familiarize them with useful read-aloud resources, answer questions, and read aloud. Each room will hold a book drawing, too!

7:10 - 7:30 p.m.

All RAP attendees reconvene in the cafeteria for a light dinner, such as pizza. Music plays, the book swap table is open, and families share stories about their read-aloud time.

Door Prizes & Closing
7:30 - 7:45 p.m.

Children, parents, school staff, and volunteers all have a chance to win door prizes, which include brand new books!

For the Love of Reading

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