Each year, Make Way for Books impacts the lives of more than 18,000 children, families, and educators throughout Arizona. Our comprehensive programs meet children and educators in the preschool and childcare setting and also go beyond these locations to meet families where they are throughout the community. We work to break down barriers to ensure young children have access to quality early literacy and learning opportunities in the critical birth to 5 years.
We organize our programming through an innovative model called Neighborhood School Readiness Collaborative. Through this approach, we provide opportunities for thousands of children to enter school ready to read and succeed. The model provides comprehensive early literacy programming to meet the diverse needs of young children (ages birth to five), families, and educators. Our strategies (including The Story Project and Family Education and Literacy) are focused and coordinated in high-need neighborhoods surrounding elementary schools. The model achieves success for children through strategies that engage and empower families, support educators, and develop children’s emergent literacy skills. Project strategies link together at each school, creating neighborhood school communities that help children thrive. Learn more about the impact of our Neighborhood School Readiness model in the words of participants here.
Learn more about what we are doing to create a culture of literacy in Arizona below.
Family Education and Literacy
Make Way for Books Family Education and Literacy is a two-generation approach where children and families learn together through ongoing sessions. Through programs like Story School, parents discover their power to create a positive future for their children and children develop critical emergent literacy and language skills they need to start school ready to read and on-track for future grade-level reading.
Make Way for Books App
The Make Way for Books App is a bilingual early literacy and language tool that accelerates children’s literacy gains by ensuring children have access to quality, developmentally appropriate books at their fingertips, engaging families in research-based early literacy and related STEAM activities, and empowering parents with skills, knowledge, and resources they need to support their young children’s learning in the critical birth to 5 years and beyond. Available internationally to thousands and fully bilingual (English and Spanish), the Make Way for Books App can be scaled quickly to ensure both children and parents/caregivers have access to books, resources, and support they need to ensure our youngest children become thriving readers and learners, using what they already have at home.
The Story Project
The Make Way for Books Story Project is a research-based model that provides a comprehensive continuum of services, programming and resources to children, parents, and teachers at more than 150 preschools, childcare centers, and home-care providers throughout southern Arizona. The program fosters a literacy-rich environment in the classroom and at home. Through professional development opportunities and regular on-site coaching, the program supports educators and provides resources they can immediately implement into their classrooms.
Currently, 1/3 of childcare sites in Pima County are “home-based care” settings in which early childhood professionals care for children in their home. Make Way for Books provides coaching, books and resources, as well as ongoing Community of Practice to build early childhood professionals’ knowledge-base and give them skills to implement higher-quality literacy and language practices with children. Our Cuéntame Collaborative provides multiple strategies to ensure young children have quality early literacy and learning experiences in home-based care settings as well as with their families. We emphasize that bilingualism and biliteracy are assets to children’s literacy development and early learning as well as throughout their lives. The project is focused around early literacy and language development as well as bilingualism practices in home-based care settings.
Make Way for Books partners with a number of organizations to ensure thousands of young children throughout southern Arizona have access to books at home and have quality early literacy experiences that build a strong foundation for all future learning.