Anderson Children's Foundation

Read With Me

Oh The Places We Will Go with Books (2021-2022)

The mission of Read With Me Volunteer Programs is to assist local children from a low income, limited English speaking environment develop to their fullest potential by learning to read, comprehend and speak English, while understanding that people care about them as individuals.

The Anderson Children’s Foundation grant purchases 5,000 of the 20,000 books we need to fulfill our commitment to the children in the Coachella Valley to help them to learn to read and comprehend English. Our historically successful book distribution program provides EVERY student in the 14 schools we serve in the Valley with books to take home to keep and share with family and friends. We are giving two books for each child kindergarten through third grade and two for each child fourth grade through 6th grade.

Children who struggle with reading and writing English because of their heritage, family situation and lack of English spoken in the homes receive personal tutoring and coaching in the school environment from 750 senior volunteers who care about them. The books our volunteers give our children help them to see and read and comprehend English on their own , with their families and friends.

Contact: Sherri deBoer Administrator
Phone: (760)861-2548

Contact: Roberta Klein CEO

Books for EV Children (2020-2021, 2018-2019)

Read With Me is an organization that aims to bring the joy of reading to underprivileged children in the Coachella Valley. Regular book drives help the organization to acquire books, which are distributed to six Coachella Valley schools. Children receive the books either during Dr. Suess Week or before the holidays as a special gift. When there is a surplus of books, students are invited to take them home for the summer; the rest are left in libraries and schools. With greater access to books, these children improve reading skills and become more proficient in English; particularly important in families where English is spoken as a second language. This instills a lifelong confidence and love of books.

Seven hundred fifty retired Read With Me volunteers typically provide more than 24,000 free hours of tutoring annually to develop students’ mastery of key foundational reading skills needed to read at least at grade level. A core program within Read With Me is giving at least two books to EVERY child in the 15 schools in the Coachella Valley where we have volunteers.

Read With Me buys 18,000 books and collects another 10,000 donated books to give to 10,000 students in the needy Coachella Valley schools. The students go to the library by classroom accompanied by their teachers and choose from grade-level sorted books to take home as their own. We also donated hundreds of books to the schools’ libraries.

We have seen first-hand how actually ‘owning’ a book of one’s choice and taking it home and sharing it with their family and friends not only accelerates children’s learning to read but also fosters a life-long love of reading.

Jessica Whiteman, Principal, Cathedral City Elementary School, recently wrote, “Getting books into the homes of our students is extremely important and beneficial to their future. Many of our families do not have the means to purchase books, so when we can provide them with these valuable resources it helps create a more equitable opportunity. Books in homes help students not only with reading, but also vocabulary, comprehension, and learning about the world around us.”

And volunteer Lynn D says, “I have over 100 thank you notes and letters from our students (Grades k-5) expressing how grateful they were for the free books that Read With Me gave them. It was wonderful to watch the smiles and excitement on their faces as the children sorted through the books, trying to find the two special books that they were going to be able to take home. One frequent question from the kids was: ‘Do you mean I get to keep this book and own it?? Wow, this is so cool. Thank you so much!’ My heart just burst to see the students so excited about receiving their books”!