Maine families read aloud to their children more often than those in any other state.*

This year, Raising Readers celebrates its 21st year of sharing the love of books and reading with all Maine children thanks to funding from the Libra Foundation, the partnership between hospitals and health centers, and the adults who read to children.

For 20 years, Raising Readers has been promoting a love of books and reading by distributing books at hospitals and Maine doctors’ offices. As soon as a baby is born, all families receive a tote of books to start their home libraries. At each well-child visit from 2 months to 5 years, doctors and medical staff give high-quality books to every child. By the time a Maine child starts school, they will have grown up with a library of brand new books to call their very own.

We’re proud to share that Raising Readers:

  • Remains the largest health and literacy project ever undertaken by any one state.
  • Reaches all children born in Maine.
  • Reaches all children receiving well-child care in Maine.
  • Partners with ALL Maine hospitals and primary care practices that offer well-child care.
  • Is simply a part of growing up in Maine.

Since 2000, Raising Readers has:

  • Graciously received funding from the Libra Foundation
  • Distributed over 3 million books
  • Gifted home libraries to nearly 290,000 Maine children
  • Been led and administered by MaineHealth in collaboration with Northern Light Health and with support of the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.

By integrating books and early literacy guidance into the healthcare setting at birth and well-child visits, Raising Readers reinforces the well-documented links between brain development, literacy and overall health while encouraging families to read to children.

All photos on our website are of Maine healthcare providers, families, and children. We hope you enjoy their delight in the read aloud experience.

*National Study of Children’s Health, 2018.

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