We are thrilled to welcome Jacquelyn Hall as Read to Succeed's new Co-Executive Director! Check out a fun Q&A with Jacque below all about reading!
What is your favorite children’s book?
As a child, I liked Amelia Bedelia. Right now my favorite children's book is "Ada Twist, Scientist."
Where is your favorite place to read?
Outside in the shade at the beach. If I can’t get there, I’ll settle for my bed.
What’s the last thing you read, book or otherwise?
"The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brené Brown.
If you could have one author, dead or alive, over for dinner, who would it be?
Brené Brown – she is funny, authentic and awe-inspiring.
Who inspired your love of reading?
My mother. She used to read to my sister and I all the time when we were little.
What’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?
When is the last time you read to someone else?
Last week at the Arthur R. Edington Center summer camp.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would it be titled?
"Totally Fierce Through Imperfect Faith"
What is your favorite genre to read?
What is one of your favorite things to do in Asheville/favorite aspect of Asheville?
I love the mountains. I look forward to warm weather to explore nature and visit our mountain waterfalls.
Calling all creative, artistic, and imaginative readers–this book list is for you! We are celebrating creativity in these children's book titles featuring all forms of imaginative art and play. From painting, dancing, sculpting, and even trash picking, these books showcase the power of art in all forms and help us think about how art can be used as a means of connection.
"Sky Color" written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Marisol is excited to be painting a mural for her school library until she realizes there is no blue paint to paint the sky with. What will she do now? Using her imagination and creativity, Marisol envisions endless possibilities of “Sky Color”.
Discover "Sky Color" with a free read aloud.
"Many Shapes of Clay; A Story of Healing" written and illustrated by Kenesha Sneed
Nadia joins her mother in her creative studio, shadowing her movements and admiring her work. Creativity brings them together to process the joys and challenges of life.
Watch a read aloud here.
"What If..." written by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Mike Curato
"What if…" What if I can’t draw, paint, or sculpt the world as I wish I could? Then I’ll dance, sing, and imagine everything I want to. This lyrical story celebrates self-expression and all the forms it takes.
Watch a read aloud here.
"Magic Trash: A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art" written by J. H. Shapiro, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
This biography inspires us to think beyond the conventional avenues of creativity by taking inspiration from what lives with us, is all around us, and needs immediate attention - trash! Tyree Guyton creates magical works of art with the found materials all around him.
Watch a read aloud here.
"Hey, Wall; A Story About Art and Community" written by Susan Verde, illustrated by John Parra
One small idea sparks a movement as a blank wall brings inspiration to a community. One after another, people make a wall more beautiful by adding their own touches. We’re reminded that walls are not simply dividers or barriers, but a blank canvas ripe with opportunity.
Watch a read aloud here.
"Just Like Me" written and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
“Just Like Me” is an ode to those with paint on their hands, dirt on their feet, joyous laughter, and everyone in between. It brings joy to our everyday selves by applauding what makes who we are.
Read aloud here.
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Ada Twist teaches us about the wonders of experimentation through her trials and tribulations trying to get to the bottom of her many unanswered questions; What is the source of that stinky smell? How do noses smell anything at all? Most importantly, WHY? Ada is constantly asking the question of why, much to her parent’s and teachers’ dismay, in order to better understand the world around her.
Check out a free read aloud of Ada Twist here or read an online PDF here.
Read to Succeed loves "Ada Twist, Scientist" and created a comprehension guide for children and families to use with the book as they read. These activities can be used with learners as young as Kindergarten by talking through the illustrations in the book and making inferences about what will happen page after page. Older readers who can also create connections about the scientific method, making hypotheses of their own!
Andrea Beaty has created a collection of activities to go along with the story and can be found below or on her website along with activities to match her other books here.
Ada Twist was such a hit that she got her own show on Netflix! Watch the trailer below.
Thank You R2S Volunteers!
Happy National Volunteer Week
Read to Succeed celebrates National Volunteer Week and our many dedicated, compassionate, and committed volunteers! Our organization could not do what we do without the support of highly-motivated individuals who believe in the power of literacy in opening the door to opportunity for all children.
Our volunteers build capacity across the board by spending hundreds of hours every year making Read to Succeed literacy programs happen!
Our volunteers (pictured above) are involved a multitude of ways:
To every volunteer who helps make what we do possible . . . THANK YOU! Your support powers this organization and drives our mission forward.
Find out more about getting involved as a volunteer and subscribe to our newsletter here.
R2S Celebrates 10 Years!
Read to Succeed is thrilled to celebrate a decade of community-powered literacy programming aimed at helping close the race-based opportunity gap in Asheville and Buncombe County.
Started in 2009 officially by a group of community activists, R2S trained and matched its first tutors with local elementary students in 2010. Our programming has grown from one school to over 12 schools and community partners, and our scope of work has expanded from K-3 tutoring to early childhood support and community/family engagement.
Make a Donation Today!
Or Donate with PayPal
We also accept paper checks! Please make payable to Read to Succeed and mail to:
Read to Succeed
PO Box 18652
Asheville, NC 28814
Include "10-Year Celebration" in the memo field. Thank you!
On any given week at R2S you might find volunteer reading tutors working in school and after school with students, R2S staff teaching phonics lessons at the Arthur R. Edington Center and Children First/Communities in Schools Buncombe County Learning Center, family reading newsletters and book bundles being distributed to partners, kindergarten-readiness trainings happening with early childhood teachers, and much more!
Check out the infographic below for key milestones from the past decade including:
A Special Thanks to Our 10th Anniversary Celebration Sponsors
R2S 10-Year Anniversary Infographic
Interested in making a donation to R2S and/or attending our 10-year celebration on May 1st? Click the button below!
As many Asheville natives have now heard, local Ashevillian, Karly Sindy, has taken the community by storm with her hilarious license plate.
The “FART” license plate has withstood some scrutiny in order to become a force for good. At first, a simple gas-inspired idea to make people smile, the “FART” license plate meant exactly what you would think. After public input, however, FART took on new life as an acronym standing for “Friends of Asheville Recreational Trails" – a community for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and “don’t deny the fart activists." Stickers are for sale here with 100% of proceeds benefiting Read to Succeed. (Thank you, Karly!)
In the spirit of the “FART” license plate, we’ve compiled a list of children's books highlighting our many bodily functions with practical and humorous ways to talk about them.
"Walter the Farting Dog" by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray, illustrated by Audrey Colman
Billy and Betty think that their farting dog, Walter, is hilarious and cannot stop laughing whenever he does. Their Father however, is not as entertained until Walter preforms a heroic act that makes him reevaluate his stance.
Laugh along to a free read aloud here.
"Everyone Poops" written and illustrated by Taro Gomi
Out of all the qualities that relate humans to animals, pooping might be the most obvious. This book describes just that, and reminds us of the simple truth that, “Everyone Poops”.
Watch and listen along to a free read aloud here.
"Raj's Rule (For the Bathroom at School)" by Lang Button, illustrated by Hatem Aly
Raj has a rule that he never uses the bathroom at school. In order to avoid facing his fear of the school toilets, Raj also avoids anything that may prompt a spontaneous bathroom visit, from playing with his friends to doing school work, he avoids distraction from his goal of making it back home before he has to go. When a sneeze ruins his plans, Raj realizes the school bathrooms aren’t so bad after all.
Watch a live read aloud here.
"Even Superheroes Use the Potty" by Sara Crow, illustrated by Adam Record
This book is great for young ones starting to learn about good bathroom habits. Its rhyming pages cover hand washing, flushing, and putting the lid down while reminding us that “Superheroes Use the Potty” too.
Listen to the rhymes with a free read aloud here.
"Clayton Parker Really Really REALLY has to Pee" by Cinco Paul illustrated by Gladys Jose
Clayton Parker is so excited for his school field trip that he forgets to use the bathroom before he gets on the bus. Once they arrive at the zoo, he is faced with the ultimate challenge of holding it while trying to find a place to pee!
Listen to a free read aloud here.
See More Curated R2S Booklists:
11 Children's Books About Love Featuring Black Characters
10 Books About Moving to a New Place Featuring Black Protagonists
10 STEM-inspire Children's books With Black Protagonists
10 Spring-Inspired Books Featuring Black Characters
8 Winter-Themed Culturally-Responsive Children's Books
We are celebrating all things READING during Read Across America Week (Feb 28 - Mar 6, 2022) with our friends at The Hop Ice Cream!
Check out our top 5 ice cream-inspired tips for celebrating reading every day!
THIS WEEK ONLY!
(Feb 28 - Mar 6, 2022)
Make a purchase in The Hop’s online store and a portion of proceeds will go directly to community-powered literacy programming at R2S. Pints, ice cream cakes, merchandise, and more - don’t miss this unique opportunity to support a great local literacy organization and get your hands on delicious ice cream!
TIP 1: EXPLORE NEW FLAVORS!
Do you enjoy trying new flavors of ice cream? The Hop Ice Cream has you covered with Cardacoco Latte, King Cake, Royal Cherry Cheesecake Crumble, Punk’s Not Dead (Pumpkin), Girl Scout Thin Mint, Lavender Vanilla, Unicorn Poop (wildberry with Nerds candy), and more!
Similarly, it’s always a fun idea to explore a variety of book genres. Outside of incredible picture books, both fiction and nonfiction, unique genres of children’s books include:
No matter what type of book your child reads, thoughtful comprehension questions play an important role in deepening their experience and understanding of the text. Check out this free reading comprehension guide from Read to Succeed with suggestions for fiction and nonfiction.
TIP 2: TRY NEW TOPPINGS!
Toppings are not just a great way to jazz up her favorite scoop or two; they also create a brand new experience with your sweet treat.
Try fun extension activities to extend your child’s experience with a book! Extension activities might look like a craft, writing exercise, a field trip, etc. Some go-to expert ideas include:
Discover more inspiration for extension activities on Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT), Education.com, and Reading Rockets.
We are also big fans of the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) Student Center Activities, which offer hundreds of printable phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary activities kids love!
TIP 3: TRY A NEW VESSEL
Prefer a cup to a cone? No worries! No matter how you serve it, reading can always be meaningful, engaging, and fun. Some of our favorite ways to eat up our favorite books include:
TIP 4: MIX IT UP!
Sundaes, shakes, ice cream cakes - there are lots of ways to incorporate ice cream into a new and exciting treat. Find unique and creative ways to infuse everyday family activities with elements of reading and writing.
TIP 5: GO BACK TO A FAVORITE AUTHOR!
Is The Hop your family’s go-to ice cream maker in Asheville? Ours too!
Similar to trying lots of offerings from The Hop (hello, Monday Milkshakes!), you might find a fabulous author with lots of children’s and YA books under their belt. Some of our favorites include:
Celebrate LOVE this month with our hand-selected children’s books featuring Black main characters. Dive into stories about loving our family, ourselves, our communities, and our world.
Check out our list below and leave a comment with a children’s book you love that’s all about love!
“Hair Love” by Matthew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe (R2S) is a local, independent nonprofit on a mission to help close the