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Raising a Reader Program

Educational Support Services

Lauren Thorne

Certificated Sr. Grant Coordinator

SLOCOE is proud to be part of the  Raising a Reader Affiliate Network. Our agency, with the help of Community Foundation and First 5 SLO, supports 30 Raising a Reader sites throughout the county. These sites serve over 500 children; 0-6 years old.

Raising a Reader is a family engagement program that is grounded in basic research on child development and draws on the growing evidence base that establishes the need for effective early literacy programs.  It focuses on the role the family plays in language and literacy development.  Raising a Reader is a home based book sharing program.  You may have seen those beautiful red bags going home weekly with children throughout the county.

Our Raising a Reader programs are located in center-based programs and family child care homes. Teachers are trained by Raising a Reader Coordinators and become “Implementers” at the site level.

The “5 Anchor Behaviors” of Raising a Reader are:

  • Child drives the process
  • Program implementers learn how to assist parents in effective read-aloud strategies
  • Bookbag delivery system is turnkey
  • Parents learn and engage in effective read-aloud strategies
  • Families get to know and use their local libraries

Shannon Pimentel

Our local Coordinator for Raising a Reader is Shannon Pimentel. Shannon has been an Implementer at her site for 15 years and will now assist in the training of additional site implementers as well as provide support at parent and community meetings throughout the county.

A list of sites that currently offer the Raising a Reader program is available here. If you would like to find out more information on Raising a Reader and perhaps how you could bring this program to your school, contact Shannon at or check out the Raising a Reader website at


Nancy Norton, Director of Early Learning
Educational SupportEducational Support Services Department
San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

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