When REACH was established in 1998, the initial program involved a simple model – reading and crafting with children living in homeless or domestic violence shelters. The read-aloud program was established in the HER Shelter, and has now grown into partnering with ten area homeless and domestic violence shelters in Hampton Roads.
The program is a team-based read-aloud. Each read-aloud team reads at the shelter where they are assigned. Currently, REACH has 36 read-aloud teams, with each team made up of 4-6 team members. Training is provided to all of our volunteers. Training includes program guidelines, tips for reading to young children, book and activity suggestions, as well as providing informative discussions about the effects of homelessness on children and teens. We will also offer insight into shelter living and how we are working to impact children’s lives through reading aloud.
Reading is an essential part of a child’s learning and education. Through the shelter read-aloud program, we encourage a love for reading to help build an educational foundation for children that are at-risk or homeless. In addition to the read-aloud, we provide each child with two brand new books at the end of each session.
The REACH Shelter Read-Aloud Program serves various area homeless and domestic violence shelters in Hampton Roads. Our partner shelters are:
Avalon Center for Women and Children
The Salvation Army, H.O.P.E. Village
Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation
YWCA Family Shelter