READING TO KIDS

Los Angeles, CA   |  http://www.readingtokids.org

Mission

Reading to Kids is an organization composed of volunteers working toward a simple goal - to help to provide children with an enthusiasm for reading. "The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children." (National Commission of Reading, 1985). Reading to Kids currently works with elementary schools near downtown Los Angeles to support monthly, school-sponsored Saturday reading clubs at those schools. At the reading clubs, pairs of volunteers read aloud to small groups of elementary school children. The reading clubs provide a fun and interactive environment for the kids, their teachers, and for the volunteers who donate their time each month.  By helping children associate reading with pleasure, Reading to Kids seeks to promote improved reading and learning skills - skills that will help lead to a more successful future for the children who participate.

Ruling year info

2000

Managing Director

Charlie Orchard

Main address

1600 Sawtelle Blvd Suite 210

Los Angeles, CA 90025 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

95-4758698

NTEE code info

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Voluntarism Promotion (T40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Los Angeles Unified School District reports that 96.5% of the children we serve are economically disadvantaged and qualify for free or reduced-price meals. 53.7% of the children at our partner schools report a primary language other than English. 93.1% are Latino or Hispanic, 3.5% are Black or African American, 1.9% are White or Caucasian, and 1.2% are Native American or Alaskan Native, Asian, Pacific Islander or Filipino, or multiracial. (LAUSD School Profile Demographics, 2018-19). Our mission is motivated by a landmark 1985 study conducted by the National Commission on Reading, which found that "the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children." Our reading clubs are based on this study, and they were designed with substantial input from our partner elementary schools, with the common goal of inspiring children to become life-long readers.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Monthly Reading Clubs

Reading to Kids is an ongoing program, with reading clubs offered on the second Saturday of every month. At the monthly reading clubs, pairs of volunteers read grade-appropriate books aloud to small groups of children organized by grade level from K-5. Children listen to the stories, practice new words, and participate in discussions about the books. This method creates a fun, interactive experience that positively reinforces learning as children develop critical skills. The supportive reading club atmosphere encourages the children to take an active interest in the story—without the pressure of a formal school environment. After volunteers read the story, the children participate in a craft or writing project to reinforce the book’s themes.

Reading to Kids also gives each child a paperback book to take home for his/her personal library. We donate the hardcover read-aloud books to school libraries, allowing further reading and enabling teachers to use them in their classrooms. 

During the reading clubs, Reading to Kids partners with teachers and school administrators to conduct parent training sessions. These sessions offer advice to parents on encouraging their children to read at home and provide them with information on their community’s educational resources; this empowers parents to take active roles in their children’s education. We also offer all participating parents a new book to expand their children’s home libraries.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Rate of student attendance during the reporting period

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children, People of Latin American descent, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Monthly Reading Clubs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Reading to Kids tracks the attendance of children at our monthly Saturday reading clubs as a percentage of the entire school population that voluntarily participates.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children, Economically disadvantaged people, People of Latin American descent

Related Program

Monthly Reading Clubs

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Reading to Kids recruits volunteers to read to children who attend our monthly reading clubs. Pairs of volunteers read to small groups of children at eight elementary schools.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The goals of Reading to Kids are as follows:

• To promote improved reading and learning skills in elementary school children
• To develop the library resources of participating schools through book donations
• To furnish children with books for their homes
• To provide enriching and rewarding volunteering opportunities
• To bring the successful "reading club" program to other elementary schools

The primary goal of Reading to Kids is to promote improved reading and learning skills in elementary school children--skills that may help lead to a more successful future for the children who participate.

Many students living near downtown Los Angeles reside in a densely populated area with numerous apartment and commercial buildings and little or no access to safe recreational areas. Many of the children in this area are from low income families, are recent immigrants to the country, are limited-English proficient, and have room for substantial improvement in their reading test scores. Helping these students is our highest priority.

By bringing volunteers, ranging from college students to young professionals to retirees, into neighborhood schools to read to these children once a month, Reading to Kids aims to help these children associate reading with pleasure and to promote the value of education and literacy. Furthering these goals are parent workshops in which teachers provide training to the parents of the attending children on how to continue the benefits of the reading club at home.

Reading to Kids also strives to develop the library resources of participating schools through book donations. When books are purchased for use at the reading clubs, they are donated to the schools' libraries so that the children (and future generations of children) may continue to enjoy literary works that have been hand-selected by the schools' teachers. Furthermore, at the conclusion of each reading club, the children are provided with free "prize" books as a reward for their attendance. The goal is to furnish them with books for their homes that they and their siblings will continue to enjoy.

Another goal of Reading to Kids is to provide an enriching and rewarding volunteering opportunity to upstanding community members who may have limited time to give, but who sincerely wish to give to the community and touch the lives of others. The monthly reading clubs do not require a major commitment--volunteers can choose to volunteer at a reading club whenever their schedules permit.

Finally, Reading to Kids is working to bring the successful "Reading Club" program to other elementary schools in downtown Los Angeles. The program continues to succeed because of the generous support of foundations, corporations, schools, educators, and individuals and because of the overwhelming enthusiasm of the participating parents, children, teachers, and volunteers.

Reading to Kids is a grassroots organization dedicated to inspiring underserved children with a love of reading, thereby enriching their lives and opportunities for success in the future.

At our monthly reading clubs, pairs of volunteers read aloud to small groups of children, while their parents receive training on how to encourage their children to read at home. Kids, parents, teachers, and school libraries receive book donations at the end of the reading clubs. These are important donations, as 60 percent of low-income homes do not have age-appropriate reading materials for children.

Since its inception in 1999, Reading to Kids has given more than 180,000 prize books to children who attend the reading clubs, donated more than 32,000 hardcover books to school libraries, and our volunteers have spent more than 220,000 hours reading to kids.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Reading to Kids is continually upgrading and modifying its practices at its reading clubs and as an organization based on feedback from volunteers, staff, teachers, and administrators. Recently, when COVID-19 closed our schools to in-person reading clubs, the organization shifted to virtual reading clubs via Zoom based on feedback from our volunteers and partner schools.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

READING TO KIDS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

READING TO KIDS

Board of directors
as of 11/15/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jason Axe

No Affiliation

Rich Shimano

No Affiliation

Matthew Jones

No Affiliation

Mark May

No Affiliation

Robyn Chew

No Affiliation

Sean Morris

No Affiliation

Jason Axe

No Affiliation

Ali Oktay

No Affiliation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/14/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/14/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.