Growing Readers provides local at-risk youth with access to free books. People and/or organizations who work with at-risk or homeless children can visit (by appointment) the REACH office and choose from the thousands of gently-used books in our library. Please contact 757-627-4722 to coordinate a time to browse and pick up the books.
We also partner with the Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth. In 2004, REACH established the “REACH Reading Room” at the museum in which we generally provide enough books so that each child may take home a book of their very own after visiting the museum.
REACH Shelter Read-Aloud Program
When REACH was established in 1998, the initial program involved a simple model – reading and crafting with children living in homeless or domestic violence shelters. The read-aloud program was established in the HER Shelter, and has now grown into partnering with ten area homeless and domestic violence shelters in Hampton Roads.
The program is a team-based read-aloud. Each read-aloud team reads at the shelter where they are assigned. Currently, REACH has 36 read-aloud teams, with each team made up of 4-6 team members. Training is provided to all of our volunteers. Training includes program guidelines, tips for reading to young children, book and activity suggestions, as well as providing informative discussions about the effects of homelessness on children and teens. We will also offer insight into shelter living and how we are working to impact children’s lives through reading aloud.
Reading is an essential part of a child’s learning and education. Through the shelter read-aloud program, we encourage a love for reading to help build an educational foundation for children that are at-risk or homeless. In addition to the read-aloud, we provide each child with two brand new books at the end of each session.
The REACH Shelter Read-Aloud Program serves various area homeless and domestic violence shelters in Hampton Roads. Our partner shelters are:
Avalon Center for Women and Children
The Salvation Army, H.O.P.E. Village
Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation
YWCA Family Shelter