READy for the Grade partners with public libraries because of the unique role they have in children’s lives. Libraries engage children in reading and related activities during the crucial preschool and elementary school years. In many cases, libraries provide reading materials to children who lack access to books in their daily lives. While we established core elements of the READy for the Grade program, we encourage each community library to adjust it to suit their unique needs.

Over the years, libraries altered the basic model by changing the:

  • Number of weeks in operation,
  • Days of the week the program ran,
  • Total hours of instruction over the summer,
  • Curriculum,
  • Specific materials used, and 
  • Level of parental involvement.

Each site tweaks their program slightly from year to year, as they discover more effective ways to reach families and support students’ learning.

In 2019, Killingly and New Haven created opportunities for family involvement, including literacy lunches, reading sessions with families, and family nights.

During the pandemic of 2020, sites that couldn’t operate in person served children online. Other sites distributed literacy kits for home use. Aspects of these adaptive strategies worked so well that some of our site partners added distance learning and/or online individual tutoring sessions to in-person operations in 2021 and continued this hybrid strategy in 2022. One community ran their entire program virtually in 2021 and 2022.

In 2023, programs continued to evolve. One community offered off-site family events. Another community partnered with a museum. We encourage creative planning and look forward to seeing how our partners change and grow to serve their students and families.

Early Childhood Literacy Matters

Whether you seek to replicate our program in your community, study it academically, or simply gain a deeper understanding of issues surrounding early childhood literacy, we hope you will find the information on these pages helpful.

When Kids Achieve, We Succeed

NewAlliance Foundation launched READy for the Grade to address summer reading loss in children from low-income families.  Our program focuses on helping children ages 5-8 maintain or achieve grade-level reading skills.  These students can then enter school in September with the same literacy advantages as their peers from families with adequate-or-better-income. 

What Makes Our Program Work?

After eleven years in operation and six independent evaluations, we have identified seven key attributes for a successful READy for the Grade program.

What We’ve Learned

From dealing with staff turnover and unavailable transportation to discovering the most effective ways for sites to customize the program, some of our greatest challenges served as our greatest teachers.

All Kids Need to Read

READy for the Grade serves a diverse population, with programs in rural, suburban, and urban communities.
The challenges of living and learning with low income vary by setting. Click the site name for details.



New Haven





Location: 195 Church Street, 7th Floor
New Haven, Connecticut 06510

Telephone: (203) 859.6600

Learn About NewAlliance Foundation