Literacy Initiatives and Organizations for Children

Literacy Initiatives

ALA Youth Media Awards

Each year the American Library Association (ALA) honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards, including the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth.

2016 ALSC Book and Media Award Winners

List of 2016 Newbery, Caldecott, Wilder, Batchelder, Pura Belpre, Carnegie, Giesel, Odyssey, and Silbert award titles selected by the Association of Library Services to Children.

Babies Need Words Every Day

The Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee of the ALA Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) developed these resources to bridge the 30 million word gap. The visually appealing posters deliver simple, effective rhymes, games and other ways for parents and caregivers to communicate with babies. A customizable book list provides suggestion of books that parents can request at their local library. ALSC  encourages librarians to share these free resources with their community partners.

Children's Book Week

Children's Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. Established in 1919, Children's Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes -- wherever young readers and books connect! In 2015, for the second time in the initiative's history, Official Events were held in all 50 states! Children's Book Week is celebrated during the first full week in May, running Monday through Sunday: May 2 – 8, 2016.


EatPlayGrow™ is a new early childhood health curriculum developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) adapted the We Can!® obesity prevention program (originally for ages 8-13) creating EatPlayGrow™ to teach children ages 6 and younger and their adult caregivers how to make healthy nutrition and physical activity choices. This curriculum combines the latest science and research from the NIH with CMOM’s holistic arts and literacy-based pedagogy to engage families and adults who work with young children with creative programs and consistent health messages in informal and formal learning environments.

El Día de los Niños, El Día de los Libros

Día is turning 20! Join schools, museums, libraries, and bookstores in opening the doors to the world of books to ALL children on April 30, the last day of National Poetry Month. Día de los Niños is a day for celebrating the power of words and books in the lives of young people and for honoring all of the languages spoken in homes in this country.

Every Child Ready to Read

Every Child Ready to Read® @ your library® (ECRR) is a parent education initiative. It stresses early literacy begins with the primary adults in a child's life. The ECRR toolkit empowers public libraries to assume an essential role in supporting early literacy within a community

Family Place Libraries

Family Place Libraries™ is a network of children's librarians nationwide who believe that literacy begins at birth, and that libraries can help build healthy communities by nourishing healthy families. The Family Place Libraries network currently includes more than 400 sites in 27 states and continues to grow, and includes many Texas libraries.

Lone Star Día

The Texas Center for the Book celebrates 20 years of El Día de los Niños, El  Día de los Libros.

National African American Read-In

During the month of February, schools, churches, libraries, bookstores, community and professional organizations, and interested citizens are urged to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month by hosting an African American Read-In. Hosting an event can be as simple as bringing together friends to share a book, or as elaborate as arranging public readings and media presentations that feature professional African American writers.

National Poetry Month

Founded in 1996, National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives. 

Read Across America

The National Education Association is calling for every child in every school in the United States to read with a caring adult on March 2, 2001 to celebrate Dr. Seuss's 97th birthday. The Read Across America site offers suggestions for participation and descriptions of activities scheduled in libraries and schools throughout Texas and the U.S.

Read to Your Bunny

Children's author Rosemary Wells generously donates her artwork for this campaign to promote reading aloud with young children. The Texas Library Association and the Texas State Library jointly created "Read to Your Bunny" to assist libraries in distributing books and literacy packets throughout their communities.

Texas Library Association Reading Lists

TLA encourages reading at all ages with lists for children, teens, and adults.  

Texas Summer Reading Program

Texas is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), a grassroots consortium of all 50 states working together to provide high-quality summer reading materials for all ages of readers, and includes early literacy, children’s, teen, and adult programs.

The Texas Summer Reading Program is funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services through a grant to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (2016)

Literacy Organizations 

BookSpring: Launching Children Into a World of Reading

For over 40 years, BookSpring has worked to close the literacy gap in Central Texas by promoting quality, developmentally appropriate print and digital books, and supporting and inspiring parents and caregivers to read aloud and engage with children through language every day.

International Reading Association

The International Reading Association seeks to promote high levels of literacy for all by improving the quality of reading instruction through studying the reading processes and teaching techniques. The organization serves as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of reading research through conferences, journals, and other publications; and actively encouraging the lifetime reading habit.

National Association for the Education of Young Children

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the nation's largest organization of early childhood professionals and others dedicated to improving the quality of early childhood education programs for children birth through age eight. 

National Institute for Play

The National Institute for Play is a 501c(3) non-profit public benefit corporation committed to bringing the unrealized knowledge, practices and benefits of play into public life. It is gathering research from diverse play scientists and practitioners, initiating projects to expand the clinical scientific knowledge of human play and translating this emerging body of knowledge into programs and resources which deliver the transformative power of play to all segments of society.

Reach Out and Read-Texas

Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.

Reading Is Fundamental

RIF provides children in need with high-quality books and enriching literacy resources. The goal is to empower young minds to embrace the world of reading and learning. RIF is the nation's largest literacy nonprofit organization and has given away more than 412 million new, free books to kids in need across the country— transforming their lives and inspiring them to be lifelong readers and achieve their full potential.

Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers

Reading Rockets is a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.  Their goal is to bring the reading research to life — to spread the word about reading instruction and to present "what works" in a way that parents and educators can understand and use.

The Reading Rockets project includes PBS television programs (also available online and on DVD); online services through the websites and; professional development opportunities; and a robust social community on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

Zero to Three

ZERO TO THREE is a national nonprofit organization that provides parents, professionals and policymakers knowledge and the research-based practice to nurture early development and give children a strong start in life.


Page last modified: December 5, 2016