Barnes & Noble Taps STAIR for Holiday Book Drive

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Barnes & Noble Taps STAIR for Holiday Book Drive

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on November 10, 2021

With the holiday shopping season upon us, STAIR-Annapolis is thrilled to announce that we've been selected by our friends at Barnes & Noble in the Annapolis Harbour Center as the beneficiary of their annual Holiday Book Drive!

As we take time to thoughtfully plan for a return to in-person programming in 2022, book donations like this help us stay connected to students in need of reading support safely and impactfully.

Research has shown that having access to books at home helps improve kids' vocabulary development, attention, and overall academic success. Kids with home libraries of just 20 books are more likely to stay in school longer than their peers who don't have books at home. A home library can also help children develop a good relationship with reading, encouraging them to turn to books for entertainment, to learn about new things, to find answers to their questions, and to satisfy their curiosity about subjects that interest them.

Throughout the month of November, shoppers at Barnes & Noble will have an opportunity to donate a book to STAIR-Annapolis with any purchase. These books will be used to supplement our Seasonal Book Bundles, a new initiative we're really excited about.

STAIR Seasonal Book Bundles will be delivered four times this school year, in November, January 2022, March, and May. The Book Bundles are curated and packaged by STAIR staff, then delivered to Reading Specialists at all 12 AACPS elementary schools we serve. Reading Specialists will distribute the books to students in need of literacy support, helping them build home libraries and ensuring they have access to new, diverse books at home anytime.

Building home libraries is one of the most important aspects of our traditional programming--students enrolled in the STAIR tutoring program get to choose a new book to take home each week--so it's wonderful to be able to continue to give the gift of reading to kids in need even when we can't be together.

If you'd like to support the Holiday Book Drive, simply shop at Barnes & Noble in the Annapolis Harbour Center anytime from now until December 5. At checkout, ask to add a book donation for STAIR-Annapolis to your purchase. Store staff will be happy to recommend a suitable title for our young readers if you're not sure what to buy!

STAIR Summer Reading

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STAIR Summer Reading

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on June 16, 2021

Summer is the perfect time to relax and unwind with a good book, and STAIR-Annapolis has planned lots of different ways to help kids keep reading this summer!

The STAIR Summer Reading program was designed to support "brain gain," the idea that simple educational activities like reading and writing can make it easier for elementary school students to stay academically on track over the summer months and return to school in the fall ready to learn. We know STAIR-Annapolis students have made serious progress in their reading during the school year, so it's important that our summer programming gives kids plenty of opportunities to build on that awesome growth.

This year, we're bringing back three popular summer reading initiatives and adding an exciting new component to our programming!

All 120 students enrolled in the 2020-2021 STAIR At Home program will continue to receive packages of brand-new books for home libraries throughout the summer. Students are already enjoying June's direct mailing, and we have even more great books and activities headed out in July and August. These book mailings are the cornerstone of STAIR Summer Reading, made possible by the generous financial gifts of many donors. Our summer book selections include early chapter books, graphic novels, and nonfiction titles to help our rising third-graders continue their reading adventures all summer long!

Little Free Libraries are a wonderful community initiative meant to give readers of all ages easy access to books close to home. Each LFL is independently maintained by individuals, families, schools, or civic organizations and neighbors are invited to "take a book, leave a book" anytime. Once again this year, STAIR-Annapolis staff and volunteers will be restocking Little Free Libraries in the neighborhoods where STAIR students live. By ensuring these free library kiosks are always full of great books, we can help provide support to readers young and old.

Community partnerships are so important to the success of our organization and we're very fortunate to have built strong relationships with so many amazing groups doing awesome work for local kids. We're proud to support our friends at Reading Camp Maryland again this summer, providing these fun word search books and highlighters to add to their students' reading packages. Reading Camp Maryland's goal to help striving elementary readers improve their literacy skills over the summer is in perfect alignment with our mission, and we're thrilled to have the opportunity to give this small gift to further their efforts.

Finally, we're so excited to introduce our newest summer initiative: STAIR Book Fairs! Our great friends at the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis and the City of Annapolis have enthusiastically allowed us to host three free book fairs for young readers at the Eastport, Robinwood, and Stanton community centers this summer. We have thousands of brand-new books packed and ready to give to kids of all ages to support their summer reading adventures. We're so grateful to HACA and the City of Annapolis for embracing our idea and for providing the space and logistic support we needed to launch STAIR Book Fairs. Dates are TBD so stay tuned for more details!

To stay up-to-date on the latest from STAIR Summer Reading, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

STAIR At Home May Book of the Month: The Word Collector

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STAIR At Home May Book of The Month: The Word Collector

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on May 19, 2021

Hard to believe, but it's time to introduce our very last STAIR At Home Book of the Month!

We've celebrated eight great months of reading with 120 STAIR At Home students and now we send them on their way to summer reading adventures with The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds.

Some kids collect trading cards or stickers. Some kids collect rocks or bugs. But Jerome has an unusual collection. Jerome collects words. He collects long words and short words, words he knows and words he doesn't, words that describe things and places and feelings. He even collects words in other languages. Jerome spends time with his words every day, thinking about their sounds and their meanings, letting their syllables roll off his tongue. He strings his words together, trying out unexpected combinations and exploring the ways his words change when he mixes them up. After a while, Jerome has collected so many beautiful words that there's only one thing left to do: share them with the world!

To learn more about The Word Collector, visit

As our own young readers prepare to graduate from the STAIR At Home program this week, we salute their hard work and celebrate their accomplishments. It hasn't been an easy year, but these students and their families have remained committed to improving literacy skills at home and have done an amazing job!

To every 2020-2021 STAIR student:
Congratulations! Go out and collect your own words to share with the world!
On behalf of the STAIR staff and all of our volunteers, we're so very proud of you!
Keep reading!