What Is the Purpose of the ReadBooks! Program?
Reading is the first step toward literacy. ReadBooks! Because Braille Matters encourages families to consider braille at the earliest possible age and to read print/braille books together at home. Braille is the only independent means of reading and writing for a child who cannot see.
Why Is Braille Important?
Braille proficiency is strongly correlated to future success in school and in the job market. The majority of blind people who are competitively employed use braille. Studies show the most proficient braille readers are those who started braille at a young age and received frequent braille instruction in school.
How Does the Program Work?
Families with young blind children, birth through seven, receive a free ReadBooks! bag containing an age appropriate print/braille book, a tactile graphic, a tactile toy or manipulative, a braille alphabet card, resource books for parents, and coupons for an additional print/braille book and a primer on braille for parents. Bags are available in English or Spanish.
Your support is crucial to the success of this program. If you want to help us in our drive to foster braille literacy in the next generation of readers, here are several ways you can make a difference.
Even the smallest donation helps defray the costs of producing braille bags — for example, a donation of $60 will buy the materials for a complete ReadBooks! bag. This kind of support sends a powerful message to funding sources that both consumers and professionals find our services valuable.
Identify Possible Funding Sources in Your Area.
Are there corporations, civic groups, or foundations where you live that might be interested in supporting this early literacy initiative? Please tell them about the ReadBooks! program and relay their contact information to our Development Office.
Donate Through Your Local Chapter or Affiliate.
If you are a member of a blindness organization, donate through your local chapter or affiliate. Several state affiliates of blind consumer groups have generously given money to support our braille publications. You can restrict your chapter's donation to the ReadBooks! program.
Write a Letter of Support.
If you have personally received a ReadBooks! bag and wish to send a letter of appreciation, we encourage you to do so. Your personal testimonials matter a great deal to foundations and corporations who are besieged with requests for funding.
Volunteer Your Time.
If you live nearby and wish to volunteer your time or that of an organization to which you belong, check our volunteer opportunities page. If you don't live locally, you could organize a bake sale, talk with local Lions clubs, or raise pledges from skiers, runners, or walkers. Everyone can help promote braille literacy!
If you have questions or other ideas about how to support NBP, please email our Development Office, or call (617) 266-6160, ext. 410. Thank you!