A National Program for Character Development and Reading Improvement

Making Every Kid a Role Model®

 How It All Started

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Kids Reading to Kids is a national program for character development and reading improvement. Based upon the unique Kids Reading to Kids methodology that centers on the concept that “The Power is in the Kids,” Kids Reading to Kids focuses on preparing kids for the learning experience by developing self-confidence and the inner drive to succeed.  Often improvement is dramatic and rapid.

Kids Reading to Kids provides a comprehensive training program for educators, parents and kids.

  Coming Face-to-Face With The Need  

Kids Reading to Kids founders Norma Krasinski and Don Marx came face-to-face with the need -- it's nearly as simple as that. Norma is a very successful children's TV producer and winner of the National Association of Broadcasters  award for best children's programming. Her program has aired for more than 23 years. Don Marx is a Washington DC businessman who created an innovative DC Kids Helping DC Kids project through the Rotary Club of Washington DC and who spends considerable time working with disadvantaged schools in DC. Norma and Don first collaborated on a DC Kids Helping DC Kids TV documentary and later a project for PBS Kids that involved outreach to disadvantaged, underachieving kids.

It all began when Norma and Don met with the principal and a few teachers from John Tyler Elementary School in preparation for the TV documentary for DC Kids Helping DC Kids. Tyler, like many disadvantaged schools, is short on resources, low on priorities of the school district stressed from under-funding, and many of whose kids read substantially below grade level. Subsequent time at the school, observing and participating, and interviewing kids, led Norma and Don to the premise that the reading deficiencies were not so much about reading, as about character development. Many of these kids arrived in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten pre-conditioned to fail. They lacked the self-confidence to take on new challenges and they lacked adequate kid role models. The teachers at Tyler had to spend much of the first school year fostering the kids basic ability to learn. It was no wonder these kids were reading below grade level. This led Norma and Don to extensive review of relevant literature and research which confirmed the diagnosis, but offered no clear solutions. There were hundreds of reading programs across the nation, yet the reading skills of the 30% of under-achieving readers, mostly African-American and Hispanic, have not improved across the nation despite decades of effort.

Driven by their persistent vision of the problem, Norma and Don spent many months thinking about how to make a difference, to bring love into learning, and to foster character development that would lead to improved learning skills and better reading. It was this continuing face-to-face contact with the kids at Tyler that led to Kids Reading to Kids.

Norma and Don first suggested the Kids Reading to Kids concept as a short-term project at Tyler. Working with the school principal and reading resources teacher, a project was devised where time would be set aside for 3rd graders to read to a kindergarten class. As they say, the rest is history. The project opened their eyes to the potential. Kids who were having difficulty reading improved rapidly, and the impact on character development was dramatic. Kids quickly lost their fear of reading and were empowered as role models for the kindergarteners. The kindergarteners too were being impacted. See this first-hand. This project has led to an expansion of the Kids Reading to Kids concept at Tyler. Since that time, Norma and Don have worked tirelessly to refine and expand the concept through innovation and testing; developing the basis for a national program; creating books focused on motivating beginning readers; and expanding participation to include bilingual reading programs.

The entire Kids Reading to Kids story is described in a new book to be published in mid- 2009.



Bringing Love Into Learning®

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                            Kids Reading to Kids® Inc -- a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming low achievers
Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Kids Reading to Kids