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City of Philadelphia

What We Do

The central focus of PHILADELPHIA READS is to have every child reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade. PHILADELPHIA READS works hard to fulfill this mission through a variety of programs, special initiatives, activities and resources.



Community Coalition

Summer Programming

Power Partners

Family Literacy

Training & Technical Assistance

Through the generosity of others in providing donations and holding book drives, PHILADELPHIA READS serves as a children's book distribution point. During the school year, teachers, librarians and educational staff from schools, after-school and summer programs across the city are welcome to come to our citywide Children?s Book Bank and select books for their school libraries, classroom libraries and reading corners.  Our books are new and gently used, appropriate for Kindergarten through Young Adult levels, and contain a wide selection of titles and genres.  Return to top


Many children are lacking in basic reading, writing and comprehension skills because the require more personalized attention. To address this ,PHILADELPHIA READS recruits, trains and places volunteers throughout the region in various school, after-school and summer programs. Volunteers work with 1st through 3rd graders who are not reading at grade level. Return to top


PHILADELPHIA READS has organized a coalition of organizations, individuals, institutions, community groups, colleges and universities and groups of faith who are working to help the children of Philadelphia read better through in-school, after-school, Saturday enrichment or summer programs. Is your school or organization dedicated to promoting children's literacy through your programs and services? If so, please take the time to join like-minded community members as we band together to discuss emerging issues, network and exchange ideas, monitor and impact political and social movement in education and provide both pro-active and reactive advocacy for children's literacy.
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Children lose skills if they do not read during the summer. Research shows that children can lose up to 25% of their educational gains if not educationally challenged and engaged during the summer.  PHILADELPHIA READS has partnered with schools, Recreation Centers, Police Athletic League Centers, churches and community centers to add reading and writing components to existing summer camps. PHILADELPHIA READS has two summer program concepts: Summer Literacy Centers and Summer READS Science, Writing, Music and the Arts (SRW). Return to top


Power Partners, a major component of PHILADELPHIA READS' volunteer effort, matches major Philadelphia businesses, corporations, law firms, banks, public agencies and other professional entities with children from public school classrooms for weekly reading sessions. This program enables employees to engage in volunteerism by giving up their lunch hour once a week. Return to top


Parents are their children's first and most important teacher.  Without question, parental involvement is one of the keys to children's educational success. PHILADELPHIA READS offers FREE Family Literacy Workshops to schools and organizations to assist parents of elementary aged children to focus on "creating and sustaining a literacy environment in the home." Return to top


PHILADELPHIA READS assists community-based organizations, communities of faith and others who have or would like to implement a literacy component within their children's programming by providing literacy training for staff and volunteers. This enables many programs to provide a well balanced program, with all team members educated on the proper techniques and components of a good literacy program in an after-school or summer organization. Return to top