The Year of The Reader

Berkeley Unified’s Year of the Reader is:

  • A school and district-wide initiative to encourage all students to become active and lifelong readers.
  • A family and community focus on the importance of reading and recognition of the lifelong benefits of being a reader.
  • A partnership between school and home to ensure all students have lots of opportunities to read for fun, exploration, and in support of academic achievement.
  • A series of school and district events that promote reading. Visit this page again soon for a calendar of upcoming events!

We are making this The Year of The Reader in Berkeley because:

  • Reading is fun!
  • Reading is the key that allows kids to access their own education.
  • Improved reading and literacy skills are are at the heart of what it will take for our community to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that still impact too many of our kids.
  • We can build a love of reading together!

Washington staff are reading so much they’ve decided to call themselves “Reading Rhinos.” Here they are each photographed with a favorite book.

Did you know?

Children understand stories read aloud at a higher comprehension level than what they can read on their own. Hearing stories read aloud is super important!

Reading with your student is the most important activity you can do with your child to support their education.

  • Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters. Older children enjoy showing off their skills to an admiring audience.
  • All BUSD elementary school students have accounts with Tales2Go, an audiobook streaming subscription service (think: Netflix for audiobooks). Ask your classroom teacher or librarian, or go to to use it at home.

Benefits of Reading at Home 

✓ Building a Love of Reading ~ Reading gives children a way to:

  • improve their knowledge,
  • expand their general cultural awareness,
  • have more fun,
  • make their imagination fly,
  • find new ways to express their ideas, and
  • become experts on a variety of kid friendly subjects.

Reading provides a quiet escape from our often hectic and over scheduled lives. 

✓ Improved Vocabulary ~ Continuous reading can increase your child’s vocabulary, which will likely lead to a higher level of academic success. Your children will also amaze you with their growing conversational skills.

✓ Improve Learning in Every Subject Area ~ Regardless of your child’s age, becoming a successful reader will benefit him or her in almost any subject area or career path. For instance, in high school science classes, your child will have to read lab directions, understand science texts or read test questions. No matter the subject area, it will be important that your child can apply his or her knowledge of reading skills in order to analyze the reading.

✓ Develop Critical Thinking Skills ~ Reading and analyzing texts helps kids develop critical thinking skills, like observing, interpreting and evaluating. For instance, as your child reads a text, he or she will begin to make inferences about what is being read. Summarizing the key ideas and details of a text will also require your child to think critically.

Year of the Reader Calendar

Useful Links

START Here! Main BUSD Library Page – Full of family resources, stories, and online research, reading, and tech tools for students & families!

Second Saturdays at BAMPFA

Tips to Encourage Reading at Home

Benefits of Reading at Home

Books to Home Reading Program in every BUSD elementary school

Battle of the Books Student Flyer and Booklist

Reading Rockets Holiday Buying Guide

1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide
This resource guide was created from the #1000blackgirlbooks campaign led by Marley Dias who has now collected over 4000 books. The guide includes some of those books that have been catalogued into an easy to find database. The information in this guide is appropriate for youth, parents, educators, schools, and libraries.

Native Voices Books presents books that preserve the history, culture and stories of Native people, while 7th Generation offers Native children’s books for a variety of age groups. Both highlight the beauty and wisdom of Native cultures and contribute to the discussion of contemporary issues. Most are written by Native American authors. Check out their Women’s History Month recommendations here!

Books written by Latina/Latino Authors and Books featuring Latina/Latino Characters
The Latinas4latinolit is a website devoted to highlighting the importance of reading and featuring lists of books written by Latina/Latino authors, and those featuring Latina/Latino characters.

Tips for Parents: How to Invite Children to Embrace and Fall in Love with Books


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