78% of the children in our program are more confident in their reading skills.
Read and Feed serves approximately 600 children each year.
Read and Feed provides over 33,000 books annually to children in the program.
The Need is Apparent
3rd grade reading proficiency is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success
Last year, more than 58% of Wake County’s low-income 3rd grade children failed to read at grade level.
More than 35% of the elementary school children in Wake County receive free or reduced lunches.
The Solution is Too
Read and Feed partners with local, Wake County schools to identify children at risk and below reading level. Once those children are identified, Read and Feed travels to the children’s neighborhoods to make participating easy.
During the 2018-19 school year, Read and Feed had 23 program sites across Wake County, 9 of these sites met on a mobile classroom. The remaining 12 were facility-based sites, hosted by churches, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Communities in Schools sites in the neighborhoods.
At the beginning of each session, Read and Feed gives each child a nourishing, well-balanced meal. While Read and Feed does partner with local restaurants for some of the meals, the majority come from the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, a local nonprofit organization that provides us with low-cost meals. Each year, Read and Feed serves over 13,000 meals to our participants.
After the meal, children spend 30-40 minutes working with a tutor on their reading skills. Our tutors make it fun – the children don’t even realize they are learning while playing reading games.
At the end of each session, the children select three books to keep to build their home library.
Read and Feed is a nurturing program. We feed their hunger to learn, build their self-esteem and fill their hearts.
Our vision is a community in which children have the confidence and ability to succeed.
Read and Feed helps Monserrat with testing
Monserrat likes Read and Feed because it helps her a lot, her grades have improved, and she's better at taking tests.
Watch her video to learn more.
The excitement of chapter books
Katie Cioni has been volunteering for Read and Feed for almost two years. She tutors and helps clean and stock mobile classrooms. Katie has been working with the same little girl each week at her program site and has noticed significant changes. "When I first met Jihan she was just starting 3rd grade, and she was an excellent reader, but very shy and apprehensive to read out loud. When filling out the All About Me sheet on the first day, she told me that she did not read chapter books because they were too long. Through the wide array of book club books available, I discovered she enjoyed reading nonfiction. One of the Step into Reading books I found was a short, nonfiction, chapter book that I asked her read one night. Once she finished reading the book, I let her know she had just read a chapter book on her own! After that night, I saw a huge boost in her confidence, and she has been willing to tackle every type of book available to read!" I asked Jihan if she thought Read and Feed has helped her with reading and she responded, "Yes! At the beginning of last year I was nervous when reading out loud so I mumbled and preferred reading to myself. Now I am not afraid to read out loud and with expression to other people!"
I love volunteering with Read and Feed!
"When my daughter left for college, I had time on my hands. I heard about Read and Feed at a meeting at my church. After I volunteered the first time, I was hooked. I love children, and I feel it is important to help them gain a love for reading at an early age. I can't think of any job that does not require reading on a daily basis. I have been a volunteer since October of 2017. I started out volunteering every Thursday. After a few months, I added Tuesdays. When the 2019 spring semester started, I felt like I wanted to do a little more, so I became a team lead. I love volunteering with Read and Feed! It is so awesome to work with people at each site who want to make the reading experience the best it can be for the children. It is great to be able to form a bond with the children and let them know that there are people outside of their family who care about them. My favorite experience this year has to be the night when we had at least ten kids and eight tutors, and it was too cold to put tables outside. The mobile classroom that we use is the smallest in the fleet, so we had kids everywhere! We had some in the booth, some on the couch, some at the tables in the back where the books are kept, one sitting on the food cooler with the tutor in a chair beside him, and at least two kids sitting on the dashboard with the tutors in the driver and passenger seats!"