To say that reading impacts every area of our lives is a drastic understatement. Each day, we lean on literacy for everything– from reading street signs and medication labels to learning how to execute a recipe in a cookbook.
Aside from practicality, reading also offers an escape into the unknown. Parents foster creativity, curiosity, and wonder by encouraging make-believe and helping their kids form an understanding of the world.
Yet, by the time kindergarten rolls around, a striking one in three children in the United States enter unprepared to learn.
This lack of literacy throughout the country is what inspires Christine Ward, the Executive Director of Raising A Reader MA (RAR-MA), to continue bridging the literacy gap in her home state of Massachusetts.
A Parent Paving The Way
Christine has lived in Massachusetts for over 40 years, receiving her Bachelor’s degree in English from UMass Amherst before plunging into an accomplished career in banking and real estate asset management.
In 1999, she also returned to school to obtain her Master’s of Business from Babson College. There, she honed her entrepreneurial spirit before graduating and working for internet startups.
But, after Christine welcomed her own two kids into the world, her focus shifted. Once it was time for her sons to enter kindergarten and preschool, she started to consult and volunteer on the library committee at her youngest’s preschool.
“I love helping people and knew reading to children at an early age was important. I also wanted to do something more meaningful and impactful than an internet startup,” Christine recalled.