Pennsylvania Masons Raising A Reader Program

It’s a well-known fact that children who read with their parents develop language skills more quickly. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics says doing so stimulates early brain development and helps build key literacy and social skills.

Unfortunately, according to the academy, more than one in three American children start kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read, and almost two-thirds of children can’t read proficiently by the end of the third grade.

The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation, as part of our Outreach efforts, have committed to helping vulnerable, at-risk children and families throughout the Commonwealth by supporting a nationally-acclaimed early literacy program. With our help, Raising a Reader will provide books, materials, parent training and engagement support and library connections that will not only significantly improve child literacy, but strengthen families and empower a generation of children to read, learn and succeed.

Pennsylvania Masons will identify schools near their Lodges and Districts where we can help children at highest risk for educational failure, and look to bring the Raising the Reader program to them. Since 1999, Raising a Reader has helped more than one million children and families successfully build, practice and sustain literacy skills and routines. By providing vital tools and support to children in need, Pennsylvania Masons will enhance children’s educational experiences as well as their self-esteem and dreams for the future.

The specific objectives of the project are to:

  • Help low-income families build the home-based literacy routines critical to developing child language and comprehension skills.
  • Launch Raising A Reader programs in schools throughout each of the seven Masonic Pennsylvania Regions.
  • Build exposure. Brethren belonging to Lodges close to participating schools will be asked to support the program by visiting the schools, when invited, to be recognized for the support Pennsylvania Masons are contributing to improve the literacy landscape.
  • If your Lodge or District would like to be one of the first groups participating in this program, call 800-462-7664 or email outreach@masonicvillages.org.