new worms with orange and blue text
Ready Readers Newsletter

January 2011

Issue 1 

Dear Friend of Ready Readers,


Happy New Year!  Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers, early childhood teachers, funders, Board members and staff, we are inspiring preschool-age children to become readers.  Thank you. 


This is Ready Readers' second quarterly e-newsletter.  We want to keep you informed about our program, our impact, and our events.  For our volunteer readers, our e-newsletter has a special "Readers' Corner" that will provide up-to-date ideas for enhancing the read-aloud experience.  The Ready Readers newsletter will also highlight upcoming events, stories about our volunteers, and a thank you to our major contributors.


In the previous e-newsletter, we attached the full version of the Ready Readers 2010 Outcome Study.  We want to thank Westgate Research, our teachers, volunteers, Board members and staff who contributed to the writing, collecting and analyzing of the data. The following is a one-page Executive Summary of the Ready Readers 2010 Outcome Study:


Ready Readers 2010 Outcome Study Executive Summary

As shown in the study, we are contributing to our children's enjoyment of books while enhancing their emergent literacy skills.  Currently, there are 450 Ready Readers volunteers reading to about 7,000 preschool-age children a week.  From a study at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, we know that there are about 10,000 preschool-age (2-5) children living in poverty who are attending licensed, early childhood centers in the St. Louis area.  Over the next year, we will continue to recruit more volunteers to read to more children more often.  If you know of anyone who would like to volunteer, have them call the Ready Readers office at 314-564-8070 or visit our website at


As the Ready Readers program grows, we need to consistently communicate with our volunteers.  In a few weeks, Ready Readers will invite our volunteers to "Ready Readers Round Table" discussions about best practices in early childhood literacy.  We look forward to meeting and sharing best practices with everyone.

If you have any comments or suggestions for the Ready Readers e-newsletter, please email us at


Enjoy!  Lisa and the staff of Ready Readers

Ready Readers' New Website!

Be sure to visit Ready Readers' new website,


You can find additional information about Ready Readers, including ideas for volunteer readers, information about what Ready Readers does, and more.  On the website, you can also join Executive Director, Lisa Greening, to blog your great read-aloud ideas.  Thank you Integrity and our fans for this fabulous new site!


You can also join Lisa and the Ready Readers staff on our Ready Readers Facebook Fan Page and on Twitter for up-to-date information about our program.


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CPK Benefit for Ready Readers


cpk logoJoin Ready Readers anytime on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at the California Pizza Kitchen on Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur, and CPK will donate 20% of your purchase to Ready Readers.  You must present the following coupon to your CPK server for Ready Readers to receive the donation:


CPK - Creve Coeur - Coupon


Plan on bringing your family, catering lunch or picking up dinner!!  




chanticleerImaginary Theatre Company's Benefit Performance

of Chanticleer! for Ready Readers

Sunday, February 13 at 1:00 pm at Clayton High School


Chanticleer! is an adapted production of one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, combining both the original folktale with music and laughter.  It is the story of a vain and cocky rooster who is deceived by a fox and must find a way to save his friends, the barnyard animals.


Bring your family and friends to the Repertory Theatre's Imaginary Theatre Company's Performance for Ready Readers on Sunday, February 13 at 1:00 pm at Clayton High School.  Enjoy an afternoon of Magic House arts and crafts, St. Louis Puppet Theatre puppet making, face painting, and a silent auction -- all highlighted by a truly enjoyable performance of the funny musical, Chanticleer, performed at 2:00 pm.  The production is recommended for children ages 3-10.


Tickets are $10 and may be purchased by using the form below, calling 314-564-8070 or buying  tickets at the door.  All proceeds benefit Ready Readers.


ITC Reservations Flyer



 Thank You Barnes and Noble Customers!



This past holiday season, customers at Barnes and Noble West County purchased 1,200 new books for the preschool-age children in the Ready Readers program. 







 SAVE THE DATE:  Ready Readers Annual Trivia and Silent Auction Event


Ready Readers has scheduled our annual Trivia and Silent Auction event for Friday, May 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm at the Kirkwood Community Center.  Plan to attend and invite family, friends and colleagues.  This is an event you do not want to miss! More information is forthcoming.


Our Volunteers

Our Volunteers are Inspiring Teachers to Give!

During the holiday season, Ready Readers received a donation and letter from a former Head Start teacher.  Her comments demonstrate the impact of our volunteers in our early childhood classrooms.

"I chose to donate to Ready Readers after I worked for Head Start. I had two Ready Readers come and read to my preschoolers each week and cannot explain how much fun my students had. They made an impact on my classroom so instead of giving gifts on Christmas to my family, I took the money and gave my gift to Ready Readers. My family was very grateful and we have decided to donate money each Christmas to a charitable organization. Thanks for all the hard work that you do and Happy New Year!"


Readers' Corner

Old Black Fly


 Old Black Fly

The first give-away book for 2011 is Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth.  The book features a fun, creative way to introduce rhyme, repetition, and the alphabet.  Suggestions for getting the children excited and involved with the story include:




  • Read the title and then ask them what they think the book will be about. What will the fly do?  What will happen to the fly?
  • Ask them to describe a fly.
  • Read the book with enthusiasm and have them join in when you repeat the phrase, "shoo fly, shoo fly, shooo."
  • After reading the story, ask the children what happened to the fly? Was their prediction correct?
  • Have the children stand and buzz around the room singing the ABC song.
  • Cut out the letters of the alphabet, write them on index cards, or buy magnetic alphabet letters.  Ask the children to identify the letters.  Give a letter to each child.  Reread the book and when you call out that letter, have the child stand.
  • Discuss and list words or nonsense words that rhyme with fly.
  • Read other great fly books including, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Shoo Fly, When the Fly Flew In, and A Fly Went By.  Other fun alphabet books include Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, ABC T-Rex, and Dr. Seuss' ABC.

Do you have other suggestions?  Blog your great suggestions on Ready Readers website at or join us on our Volunteer Facebook Blog Find us on Facebook or Twitter Follow us on Twitter.



The Little Red Hen

This year, we chose a classic book for our volunteers to read and give to the children.  This year, we purchased our favorite edition of The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone.  The pictures are fun, bright and predictable.  We also love the ending of this story because the animals learn to help the little red hen.   Suggestions for getting the children excited and involved with the story include: 


  • Before reading this book, introduce the children to some of the "new" words in the book.  These words may include porch, mended, raked, hoed, grains of wheat, mill, etc.  
  • Ask the children to look at the picture on the front cover and predict what will happen in the story. 
  • When reading the book, have the children read with you the repeated phrase, "Not I! said the cat, Not I! said the dog, Not I! said the mouse."  
  • At the end of the story, ask the children what they learned.  Most may not be able to answer this question, but you will get them to think.
  • After reading the book, have the children identify the sounds of barnyard animals.  For example, ask them what a cow says, a dog says, etc.  Have a child come up to the front of the room, whisper the name of an animal in their ear, and have them pretend to be that animal while the other children guess.  Then, ask the children if they can guess the animal with their eyes shut.
  • Sing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm."
  • Ask the children about pets that they may have at home.
  • Discuss the moral of hard work with the children.
  • Read the book, The Barnyard Dance, by Sandra Boynton.  Then reread the book and invite the children to dance.



Nieghborhood Mother Goose -s scond one from publisherThe Neighborhood Mother Goose 

Volunteer readers, what are the children's responses to the book, The Neighborhood Mother Goose?  Share your thoughts about the Mother Goose book and other favorite read-alouds on our blog at at


We also invite you to make suggestions on our Volunteer Facebook Blog and Twitter pages.



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Thank You for Your Support!

Ready Readers Gratefully Acknowledges the Following

Major Contributors For Their Support


(July 1, 2010 - January 15, 2011)



Crawford Taylor Foundation

Glendorn Foundation

Guth Foundation Charitable Trust

The Herbert A. and Adrian W. Woods Foundation



Dana Brown Charitable Trust

Employees Community Fund of Boeing

Esco Technologies Foundation

Fox Family Foundation

Nestle Purina PetCare


Pettus Foundation

The Saigh Foundation

Siteman Family Foundation

The Staenberg Family Foundation



Champlain Investment Partners, LLC

Enterprise Holdings Foundation

Finerty Family Foundation

Paul and Susan K. Goldberg

David and Donna Henderson

Mr. and Mrs. James O'Connor

Reams Foundation

Dr. Paul and Pat Simons

St. Louis Trust Company

Trio Foundation of St. Louis




Mr. and Mrs. David Aronson/Miriam Wilhelm and Eric Friedman

Bland Family Foundation

Craig and Risa Brown

Pat Cox and Graham Colditz

Karen Kalish

Pecha Family Foundation

Suzanne Siteman Phillips

Dr. Dan and Mary Riew

Steven and Terri Stout

Stupp Brothers Bridget and Iron Works Company Foundation

TALX Corporation

Taste of the South

University of Phoenix



Karen Berger

Harv and Barb Citerman

Ann Dillon

John and Yvette Dubinsky

Nicole Gore

Marti Lanese

Ken and Pam Lester

Old Newsboys Day Foundation

Sabina Pugh

Ronald and Sharyln Saks

Nancy Siteman

Missy Slay

Paul West

Will and Laura Winter


We apologize if we have inadvertently omitted anyone who should have been included or have spelled names incorrectly.  Please let us know so that we can correct future listings.




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Contact Information
phone: 314-564-8070
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