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 community centers this June. We'll be at the Eastport Community Center on June 22, the Robinwood Community Center on June 23, and we'll be part of a community-wide event at the Stanton Community Center on June 24. 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. It's going to be a great week!

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

We Did It…Together!

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We Did It...Together!

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on June 9, 2021

On May 19, 120 students successfully completed the 2020-2021 STAIR At Home program. This year of modified programming was designed to give kids and their families a way to "Start The Adventure In Reading" with flexibility in these uncertain times.

We know this past year was not the same STAIR our volunteers and supporters have come to know and love. Like so many others trying to find a way through all the challenges presented by the pandemic, we missed out on a lot. But we also had so much to celebrate.

To our generous donors, thank you. Your financial support allowed us to cover the costs of thousands of new books for students' home libraries, reading resources and educational activities for at-home learning, shipping supplies, postage, and more. Without you, we could not have offered students and their grown-ups so many flexible ways to participate in the program.

To our incredible volunteers, you made STAIR At Home happen! Your Book Clubs, Guest Reader and Tutorial Coach videos, Research Aide resources, and Pen Pal letters kept kids engaged and excited about developing their reading skills. You leaned in, learned new things, and gave your all to reach students where they were, offering a friendly (virtual) smile or a kind word in a scary time. We simply can't thank you enough!

We hope you all come away from this unprecedented year knowing that you've made a difference in a child's life.

And we hope you know just how grateful STAIR students and their families are for your support, your commitment, and your care. 

We're looking forward to our planned return to in-person programming for the 2021-2022 school year. Can't wait to see you soon!

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A June Reading Challenge

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A June Reading Challenge

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on June 2, 2021

Here are some things we love about summertime:

  1. Sunshine and warm weather.
  2. Long days at the beach.
  3. Road trips.
  4. Ice cream, sno-balls, water ice, and frozen custard.
  5. Running through sprinklers.
  6. Backyard BBQs.
  7. Splashing in the pool.
  8. Bike rides and playgrounds.
  9. Bubbles and sidewalk chalk.
  10. More time to read!

Longer days means lots more time for books, and this month's reading challenge will encourage you to make the most of all those extra hours!

Our friends at Anne Arundel County Public Library are once again hosting an awesome summer reading challenge. The theme of this year's event is Tails and Tales, and we couldn't be more excited for all the great events the library has planned for readers of all ages.

Here's how it works:

  • Visit your local AACPL branch or register for Summer @ Your Library 2021 online. It's easy!
  • Set your personal summer reading goal.
  • Use the Beanstack Tracker app (it's free!) to record your daily reading log and keep track of your challenge activities.
  • Earn prizes! For reading!

Your local library has everything you need to get started on a summer reading adventure, as well as a full schedule of incredible virtual events all summer long.

Need some reading inspiration? Check out these recommended book lists from Anne Arundel County Public Schools!

2nd Grade Reading List

3rd Grade Reading List

Books for Early Readers

Books for Older Readers

We'll be back next month with a new reading challenge for you. Until then, stay cool and keep reading!


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Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on May 26, 2021

There are so many people working behind the scenes to make sure STAIR-Annapolis serves young readers in need with quality programming year after year. Since coming to Annapolis in 2006, STAIR has helped hundreds of kids become better readers and improve their self-confidence through one-on-one literacy tutoring with caring, dedicated volunteers. If you've been following us for a while, you already know about our great staff and our incredible team of volunteers. But there's another important group that works tirelessly on behalf of the STAIR program and the students we serve.

The STAIR-Annapolis Board of Directors is a group committed to the success of the STAIR program here in Anne Arundel County. Their volunteer leadership touches just about everything we do, from hiring staff and implementing new policies to raising much-needed funds to support program initiatives. The board is made up of professionals from all walks of life working together toward a singular goal: to help Anne Arundel County second graders discover the joy of reading.

This week, we'd like to introduce you to a few of our board members and let you hear directly from them...Why STAIR?


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!

Get Caught Reading!

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Get Caught Reading!

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on May 12, 2021

May is Get Caught Reading Month and we're here to share some fun ways to celebrate the joy of reading!

This nationwide campaign was created in 1999 by the Association of American Publishers and is now managed by the nonprofit Every Child a Reader. Get Caught Reading aims to bring the fun of literacy and love of books to readers of all ages.

Set up a month-long family reading photo challenge. Snap a sneaky pic anytime someone is caught reading at home and count up the photos at the end of the month. The family member caught reading the most gets a special prize (maybe a new book...?).

Organize a neighborhood book drive. Send a message to friends and neighbors letting them know you're collecting new or gently used books for Get Caught Reading Month. Donate books to a local shelter, hospital, school library, or place them in a Little Free Library.

Challenge friends and family to Get Caught Reading in unusual places. Can your cousin climb a tree? Does your grandma grow a garden? Maybe your pal plays pickleball. Ask everyone to send you a picture of themselves reading in a strange or unique place: in the pool, on a boat, at a sporting event, up a tree (be careful!), in the garden...the possibilities are endless! Collect the photos at the end of the month and make a Get Caught Reading album to share.

The best way to celebrate Get Caught Reading Month, of course, is to GET CAUGHT READING! Bring a book with you wherever you go this month and you can get caught reading just about anywhere!

Got another great idea for Get Caught Reading Month? We'd love to hear it! Comment down below or find us on Facebook and tell us how you're celebrating the joy of reading this month.