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For Literacy Volunteers

  • Great Books for Kids: Our 2018 Gift Guide
    Share the joy of reading! Fiction, nonfiction, biography and poetry for kids 0-12
  • Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.
    Themed books and activities to inspire active learning all summer long
  •  Authors Read Aloud!
    Watch favorite children's authors like Jacqueline Woodson read from their books
  • Match Young Readers with Books They Will Love!
    Create custom booklists from our library of 5,000+ books
  • Reading Adventure Packs for Families
    Robots, stars, flight, dinosaurs, oceans, bees, building, music and more!

Making a difference

Literacy volunteers can make a big difference in our classrooms, after-school and summer programs, and other community-based literacy initiatives. Find out how you can help young kids develop fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills — as well as a joy for reading, language, and books — through read alouds and reading celebrations.

Supporting a community of readers!

Reading aloud with children strengthens all kinds of literacy skills — introducing kids to rich, new vocabulary; modeling what fluent, expressive reading sounds like; and boosting comprehension through ongoing conversations between readers and listeners. Reading aloud also helps build a community of readers and explorers. And it's pure fun!

In this section, you'll find many resources to support your read-aloud activities:

  • How to select wonderful books for kids at different ages
  • Tips on read alouds that will really engage kids
  • Ideas for combining read alouds with hands-on activities to extend learning and build background knowledge
  • Ideas for creating joyful, inclusive reading celebrations

You'll also find basic information about how kids learn to read and what caring adults can do to help launch confident young readers.

Finding great kids' books

Book Finder

Book Finder

Create your own customized list of fiction and nonfiction books. Search through more than 5,000 books on Reading Rockets — by author, illustrator, age, reading level, genre, format, and topic.

Themed Booklists

Themed Booklists

Sometimes it just takes one wonderful book to turn a kid into a reader. Tap into what interests your child. Browse these themed booklists selected by Maria Salvadore, our children's literature expert.

Themed Booklists

Favorite Books for Kids with Learning and Attention Issues

Sometimes it just takes one wonderful book to turn a kid into a reader. Tap into what interests your child. Browse these themed booklists selected by Maria Salvadore, our children's literature expert.

Nonfiction for Kids

Nonfiction for Kids

Our resources can help you find great nonfiction picture books and offer tips on how to get the most out of reading nonfiction. Nonfiction can sometimes turn a reluctant reader into an enthusiastic one!

Choosing and Using Kids' Books

Choosing and Using Kids' Books

When it comes to deciding what books to share with young readers, there is so much to choose from! With thousands of new books for children published every year, get pointed in the right direction with guidance from Reading Rockets.

Finding great kids' books: more resource

More Resources on Finding Great Kids' Books

Reading aloud

Guest Reader Season

Tips for Guest Readers

If you’ve been invited to be a guest reader, the best way to make the read aloud experience a great one for you and for your listeners is to be prepared!

Hints on How to Read Aloud to a Group

How to Read Aloud to a Group

From previewing to reading with expression, here are helpful hints for anyone preparing to read a book aloud to a group of children.

Dialogic Reading: An Effective Way to Read Aloud with Young Children

Dialogic Reading

Dialogic reading is just children and adults having a conversation about a book. Learn how to use this strategy in your read alouds.

20 Ways to Adapt the Read Aloud in the Inclusive Classroom

20 Ways to Adapt the Read Aloud in the Inclusive Classroom

Here are tips on how to include all students in classroom read alouds. These suggestions may work for students who need  materials to keep focused, and those who require alternative ways of demonstrating attention, engagement, and interest.

 How to Choose Read Aloud Books: Babies to Third Graders

Choosing Read Aloud Books

There are many things to think about: topic, characters, setting, plot, the liveliness of the language, or how engaging the illustrations are. Find guidance here in choosing great read alouds.

 Getting the Most Out of Nonfiction Reading Time

Getting the Most Out of Nonfiction Reading Time

Nonfiction books give kids a chance to learn new concepts and vocabulary, as well as broaden their view of the world. Learn how to take a "book walk" with a new nonfiction book and how to model active reading.

Reading aloud: more resources

More Resources on Reading Aloud

Combining read alouds with hands-on learning activities

Start with a Book

Start with a Book

Explore 24 topics (bugs, birds, dinosaurs, sports, inventions, flight, poetry, music ...) through books, hands-on activities, educational apps, writing, and more.

River Rangers

River Rangers

A book-based summer science adventure all about water and the rivers and streams in your community. Get the free toolkit.

River Rangers

Reading Adventure Packs

Reading Rockets has developed a set of reading adventure packs to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books. Topics range from archaeology to cooking, robots, stars, and many more! In English and Spanish.

Combining read alouds with hands-on learning activities: more resources

More Resources on Combining Read Alouds with Activities

Reading celebrations

All Kinds of Readers: A Guide to Creating Inclusive Literacy Celebrations for Kids with Learning and Attention Issues

Creating Inclusive Literacy Celebrations

For kids who struggle with reading, special literacy events and celebrations can challenge their self-confidence. Here are 15 strategies to help you plan a successful, joyful reading event for all kinds of readers and learners.

NEA's Read Across America

NEA's Read Across America

Read Across America is a year-round reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading. Many communities highlight special events in March, the month of Dr. Seuss's birthday.

Jumpstart's Read for the Record

Read for the Record is a national campaign to bring young children together with valued grownups in their lives to read the same book, on the same day, in communities all over the world.

Reading celebrations: more resources

More Resources on Reading Celebrations

Reading basics

To find in-depth information about how young children learn to read and how to help those who struggle, dig into the Reading Rockets resources below.

Our PBS Series: Launching Young Readers

These 30-minute programs feature top reading experts, best teaching practices, and how to support struggling learners in school and at home.

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Reading

Get the basic facts about what it takes for a young child to learn to read, best practices in teaching reading, the importance of oral language in literacy development, why so many children struggle, and more in this overview.

Building blocks of reading

Learn about the building blocks of reading — print awareness, sounds of speech, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension.

Active Read Alouds: Bringing Nonfiction to Life

Join us for an active summer afternoon at the Ruby Tucker Family Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Kids and volunteers come together around books in this summer reading program developed by The Reading Connection, a local literacy organization.

Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.

Our Literacy Blogs

Book Life
Rachael Walker
September 17, 2018

Connecting with Parents

Growing Readers Newsletter: Monthly Tips for Parents

Parent Reading Tips in Multiple Languages

Reading Adventure Packs
Back to School!
"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read." — Abraham Lincoln