Posts filed under ‘Events’

The Storymobile rolls on….for an extra week!

The ReadBoston Storymobile has been delighting children across Boston with stories and free books since July 5 of this year. We’ll continue to visit 78 sites each week through August 12, but the fun doesn’t stop there! New this year, we have added a week of special events from August 15-19. The brightly colored van will make stops at some very special Boston locations like Fenway Park, the Bunker Hill Monument, Spectacle Island, the Boston Common and Boston College’s Alumni Stadium. Not only will children hear stories and receive free, new books, but they’ll also get to participate in other activities at each location. This week of special events was designed to give kids an experiential session that will support new language and literacy skills in a new setting. 

All sessions are free and open to the public: 

Fenway Park– Gate D: Monday, August 15, 12:00 PM

Bunker Hill Monument–Charlestown: Tuesday, August 16, 11:00 AM

Spectacle Island–Boston Harbor Islands: Wednesday, August 17, 12:30 PM

 TADPole Playground –Boston Common: Thursday, August 18, 11:00 AM

 Boston College Alumni Stadium – Gate D: Friday, August 19, 12:00 PM

 For additional information, including a full schedule, visit Questions? Call 617-918-5289.



July 26, 2011 at 2:59 PM Leave a comment

Admission is Free…so are the dreams. Thank you, Highland Street Foundation!

As a young professional in my very first year of work, there is one word that has come to mean a lot to me over the last year: FREE.  In polling my friends, family, coworkers and volunteers, I have realized that I am not the only one to whom this is important.

We live in a city full of culture and opportunities for exploration and learning, but many of these opportunities come at a cost, and often an understandably hefty one at that.  For a family of five, it can cost well over $50 just for a trip to the movies.  Prices like these are found across Boston, not only at local movie theaters, but also at some of our most treasured and important museums, parks and other cultural venues.  Being able to visit places like these is a huge part of our city, but it can often be difficult for countless families and individuals to take advantage of these opportunities because of the cost.

Here comes the good news:  this summer the Highland Street Foundation has partnered with different venues around Boston and greater Massachusetts to offer FREE FUN FRIDAYS through the end of August.  This means FREE admission to the Museum of Fine Arts (this Friday, July 1st!), FREE admission to the Franklin Park Zoo (July 22nd) and FREE admission to so many more events and venues throughout Massachusetts throughout the summer.  The Highland Street Foundation is making museums, parks, music venues and so much more available to anyone who wants to take advantage of them this summer.  Free never sounded so fun.

For more information on dates and locations for Free Fun Fridays, please visit:

The Highland Street Foundation

June 30, 2011 at 5:18 PM Leave a comment

Beep! Beep! Here comes the Storymobile!

It’s that time of year again! The ReadBoston Storymobile will be rolling through the streets of Boston visiting 78 sites each week from July 5-August 12. At each Storymobile session, children participate in a fun, interactive storytelling with a professional storyteller and receive a free, new book to take home. By the end of the summer, children will have received at least six free, new books to keep as their own!

The goal of the Storymobile program is to promote literacy as a year round endeavor that doesn’t end when school doors close for summer. Too often ReadBoston’s Storymobile provides the only literacy activities that Boston kids, especially ages 2-7, experience throughout the summer break. The summer slide, as termed by researchers, which many low-income children experience, might be avoided by providing as few as six books for them to read, and re-read, during the summer months. 

ReadBoston is very excited to include some new features in this year’s program:

  • Two weekly evening sessions:
    • Tuesdays, beginning July 12, 7 pm at Jamaica Pond
    • Thursdays, beginning July 14, 5 pm at the Franklin Park Zoo, outside of the Zebra Gate
  • Weekly session at the Leahy-Holloran Community Center in Dorchester(Tuesdays at 1:15) that is open to all and will include Autism friendly programming
  • A week of special events from August 15-19 including sessions at Fenway Park, Spectacle Island, Boston College and Bunker Hill 

The Storymobile program is open to all children across the city of Boston. Click here for a location near you! 

Questions? Call ReadBoston at 617-918-5289.

June 23, 2011 at 4:28 PM Leave a comment

Stroll Into Summer with East Boston Children Thrive

Our go-to store for milk, eggs and just about anything we run out of last minute is a little bodega on our corner.  The owner knows our 3 year old and is great about including her in our transaction, whether it is just by asking her about her day or by asking her what color the lollipop he has given her is.  The owner also posts flyers about community events and tells us about things he’s heard of that he thinks may interest my family. 

East Boston Children Thrive, led by the Community Partnerships for Children East Boston neighborhood cluster, is highlighting these kind of family-friendly businesses and giving families a fun opportunity to meet each other in their Stroll Into Summer event this Saturday in East Boston.  Families are meeting at Bertulli Park in Central Square at 9 am on Saturday, June 11th for a stroll to 6 family-friendly businesses in their neighborhood.  There is a prize for the best decorated stroller and other family giveaways. 

East Boston Children Thrive engages families and businesses to support school readiness.

This unique event is just one way Boston Children Thrive is engaging businesses in supporting school readiness and helping parents build connections with each other and with their community.

I’ll post next week about how the event went.  In the meantime, if you know any East Boston families with young children, please spread the word about this event.  And if you have any creative ideas for how to engage the business community in supporting school readiness, please feel free to share that too.

June 8, 2011 at 10:10 AM 1 comment

ReadBoston Best Read Aloud Book Award

On Tuesday May 3, ReadBoston announced the winner of the 7th Annual Best Read Aloud Book Award. A group of notable Bostonians gathered in Mayor Menino’s office to pick the best read aloud book of the year. Twelve books were presented to the panel and the winner is Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don’t) by Barbara Bottner, illustrated by Michael Emberley and published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Panelists included Boston School Superintendent Carol Johnson, Boston’s First Lady Angela Menino, literary agent Ike Williams, the Boston Bruins’ Bob Sweeney, Boston Globe columnist Beth Teitell, BC Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo, PEAR chair Stacey Lucchino, Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray, PR gal Marlo Fogelman, Putnam Investments’ Bob Reynolds and others.

Over 400 books were submitted from across the US and Canada for

From Left to Right: Boston Bruins' Bob Sweeney, Wheelocl President Jackie Jenkins Scott, Mayor Menino and Stacey Lucchino listen as the books are read.

consideration for this award. ReadBoston created the Best Read Aloud Book Award seven years ago to bring attention to the importance of reading aloud to children.  Research indicates that reading aloud is one of the most important activities for building the knowledge required for eventual school success.  This is an annual award given to the best read aloud book, appropriate for ages 4-8, published during that year.

The other books presented to the panel include:

Brontorina by James Howe

Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming

Dancing Feet! by Lindsey Craig

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill

My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete

Ruby’s School Walk by Kathryn White

Swim! Swim! by Lerch

Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by Grace Lin

Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen

Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged by Jody Nyasha Warner

Welcome to My Neighborhood: A Barrio ABC by Quiara Alegría Hudes

Check them out at a local library or bookstore today! 


Want some tips on reading aloud? Check out the Resources page and click on “Reading Books with Children” and “Why Read Aloud.”

May 18, 2011 at 12:36 PM Leave a comment

Talk, Read, Play Day!

Mayor Thomas Menino kicked off Talk Read Play Day by flipping the switch and illuminating the TD Garden with the Talk Read Play logo. In the photo, left to right: Dr. Carol Johnson, Supt. of Boston Public Schools, Mike Durkin, President of United Way, Mayor Thomas Menino, Joe Blumenfeld, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Lisa Hughes, WBZTV and Curious George.

On Tuesday, April 12, thousands of volunteers and early childhood educators donned brightly colored teal shirts emblazoned with a simple statement: Talk, Read, Play. The t-shirts commemorated “Talk Read Play Day,” a citywide effort that aims to create awareness of the need for parents to actively engage verbally with their infants, toddlers and young children. Across the city and throughout the day, sponsors, volunteers and early educators helped promote the program’s message through conversations with parents and story time activities with children. In addition, families received tips on how to talk, read and play at home, along with a goodie bags filled with crayons and stencils and a brand new Curious George book to keep, thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. This citywide visibility effort reached more than 10,000 parents and children. 

The Talk, Read, Play campaign is a comprehensive reminder of the simple but sometimes overlooked steps that lead to a child’s healthy development:

  • Talking to a child from birth is one of the most important things that a parent can do to foster vocabulary, critical to the future

    Curious George helps celebrate Talk Read Play Day at the Mattapan Head Start.

    development of reading and writing abilities.

  • Reading with infants and toddlers helps them develop a longer attention span, a larger vocabulary, an eagerness to read, the ability to predict a storyline, and book-handling skills, all of which will help with learning to read later.
  • Playing exposes children to essential social interactions that help to develop creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills. This interaction also prepares them emotionally for the classroom setting.

 “Talk, Read, Play” is a collaboration between ReadBoston and Countdown to Kindergarten. The message of the campaign is to promote parents as their child’s first and most important teachers. The campaign provides critical information and resources to support parents in educating their young children. 

To learn more, visit

April 14, 2011 at 10:54 AM Leave a comment

$10.83 for Just $1

The down economy has made it far more difficult to find an investment opportunity with a big pay off.  Numerous studies now show that maybe we should look to Sesame Street instead of Wall Street for high returns on investment.

A new study in the journal Child Development  estimates the return for every $1 spent on Chicago’s Child-Parent Centers’ (CPC) preschool program at $10.83 – an 18% annual return.  The study tracks CPC participants through age 26, old enough to show significant benefits to society – you and me – as well as participants in the program.  Here’s how that $1 returns more than $10 over time:

  • Life Course Crime Savings (including those to victims) – $4.99
  • Increased Earnings and Tax Revenues – $3.39
  • Reduced Child Welfare Expenses – $0.86
  • Reduced Special Education Costs – $0.62
  • As well as returns from lower rates of Substance Abuse, Adult Depression, and Smoking

The return on investment was also greater for children often considered most in need of services: boys ($17.88 for every $1), children from families with four or more risk factors ($12.81), children whose parents never completed high school ($15.88), and children from high poverty neighborhoods ($17.92). 

CPC preschool program participants also had higher high school completion rates, more years of education overall and higher health insurance coverage rates in addition to the individual benefits mentioned above.

 If all that doesn’t convince you of the benefits of investing in early childhood, hear more from Art Rolnick at Boston’s 2011 Early Childhood Summit on April 14th.  Art Rolnick, Senior VP and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, is the keynote speaker at the Summit and will share his insights after years of research on the economic impact of early childhood investments.

February 23, 2011 at 10:13 AM Leave a comment

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