Raising Readers Literacy Collaboration

Awesome! Raising Readers Is Celebrating  2 Million Books Given!

"Raising Readers was established in 2000 to give all of Maine's children at least a dozen beautiful new books to call their very own. The first books are shipped directly to hospitals, so that along with their newborn, every parent takes home a set of books. Then, at each well child doctor's visit, parents get another specially selected book to add to their home library. No signup is required, and there is no cost to either families or healthcare providers to participate.

The Libra Foundation has taken the beloved and intensely powerful practice of parents reading aloud to their children and made it the cornerstone of a state-wide initiative that can significantly change the lives of Maine children. Indeed, studies have found that children whose parents read to them just twenty minutes a day are more likely to find reading enjoyable, enter school with important literacy skills, be skillful readers themselves, which in turn makes them more likely to stay in school, and enjoy success later in life.

The program reaches the state's 16 counties thanks to a successful collaboration between MaineHealth and EMHS, and the 1,200 healthcare providers that give books to their young patients.
Now entering its fourteenth year, raising readers has reached over 214,000 children and distributed 2 MILLION BOOKS! It is the largest health and literacy program ever undertaken in a single state and is a model for similar efforts across the nation." -From The Raising readers website
Two of the picture books I illustrated for Candlewick Press (One Frog Sang written by Shirley Parenteau & The Big Meow written by Elizabeth Spires) are included in 2 of the anthologies given to children during their doctor visits. I'm honored to do my small part in this generous gift to Maine kids.

Anthology of authors & illustrators who create books in Maine published by Candlewick Press
 RAISING READERS: A Treasury of Tales From Maine Candlewick Press (ISBN: 9780763652203) 

An anthology of five picture books by authors and illustrators who create books in Maine.
'Dance with Me' by Charles R. Smith Jr. and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones; 'One Frog Sang' by Shirley Parenteau and illustrated by Cynthia Jabar; 'The Bugliest Bug' by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Scott Nash; 'In the Wild' by David Elliott and illustrated by Holly Meade; 'The Circus Ship' written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen.

RAISING READERS: A Collection Of Stories From Maine Candlewick Press (ISBN: 9780763664893)
This book is an anthology of six picture books, each created by an author or illustrator from Maine. It contains the wonderful picture books The Big Meow, illustrated by the artist Cynthia Jabar who was raised in Maine; The Bugliest Bug, illustrated by Peaks Island artist Scott Nash; Farmer Will, written and illustrated by the picture book creator Jane Cowen-Fletcher; That's Are What Friends Are For, illustrated by Maine artist Holly Meade; Weslandia, illustrated by Gorham artist Kevin Hawkes; and Zachary's Ball, written and illustrated by Maine picture book creator Matt Tavares!
The Big Meow, written by Elizabeth Spires, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar & published by Candlewick Press


Why I collaborate: The power of LITERACY + MAKING

Picture books have always been my friends, I write about that here. Making them changed my life. I made my first collaborative picture book in Miss Kenniston's 4th grade class. We wrote & illustrated a giant poster sized book of poems. The experience gave me a vehicle (books) for expressing myself & telling my own story. I felt I belonged.

Bookmaking is cool like that. Books create openings for discussion & growth. They allow us to find our voices & tell our own stories. We need books - no matter what form they take.

Our digital kids need to know how to make digital books too. Creating and not just consuming content is an essential 21st century literacy skill.
Many teachers are doing amazing work, but they can't do everything, our kids & schools need help.
That's why I collaborate. I want to give back the joy in bookmaking Miss Kenniston gave me. All Kids need to be able to find their voices and tell their stories - not just a few lucky ones.

If we share what we know as storytellers, artists, teachers & publishers - no matter how small (think of the lovely HORTON HEARS A WHO) we can inspire our kids to tell their own stories, collaborate & create a more meaningful world. A world we can't even imagine.

Enjoy & thanks for visiting! Come say HELLO on twitter: @cynthiajabar.
I'm always open to meaningful collaborations.
You can read about my web literacy collaborations here. 

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Hello There & Welcome! My name is Cynthia Jabar.

I'm a Picture Book Author, Illustrator, Occasional Editor & Ebook Tinkerer published by Candlewick Press, FSG, Harper Collins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt & other fancy pants publishers. I'm wicked lucky, I know. I also create & license characters & surface designs for games, sticker activity books, craft kits, temporary tattoos & other fun stuff.

But my favorite thing to do is create storytelling experiences with & for kids. I'm a self proclaimed Web Literacy Mentor that refuses to give up. My mission is to help empower kids to discover their voices, tell their own stories & become creators of content and not just consumers as they change the world for good. All while eating COOKIES! These are my notes.