Community Reading Partnership

Our Mission:

The Community Reading Partnership (CRP) is a broad-based community coalition of organizations, individuals, businesses, schools and libraries that have joined forces in order to promote family reading practices throughout our community.

We believe that literacy, the ability to read, write, and communicate, will define a person's future success.

Our Goals:
    • To provide books to children at transitional times in their lives.
    • To increase opportunities for access to books for all ages within the community.
    • To provide literacy programs within the community.
    • To mobilize businesses and organizations to support reading in the community

Current Projects

Our current projects include:

    • Books for Newborn - Every baby born at Thompson Hospital receives a new book and parents get information on the importance of reading to their child right from the start.
    • Prescription to Read - Every child receives a new book during the 12-month well baby visit at the Canandaigua Medical Group. As part of this visit, the pediatrician gives the parent a prescription instructing them about how to share literacy experiences with their child.
    • Welcome to Kindergarten - Incoming kindergartens receive a new book at registration. This book is used by the kindergarten teachers when school starts in the fall.
    • Little Red Bookshelves - Gently used books that have been donated are placed on more than 15 red bookshelves located throughout Ontario County. They are free for individuals of all ages to select and keep.
    • Little Red Baskets - Book filled baskets placed at local restaurants for families to read and enjoy while they wait for their meal to be served.
    • Reading Programs - CRP works with community organizations such as the Salvation Army to offer programs for children and teens that promote good reading practices.

About Us & Our Impact

History of the Community Reading Partnership

The Community Reading Partnership is a broad-based community coalition of organizations, individuals, businesses, schools and libraries that have joined forces in order to promote family reading practices throughout our community.

The Community Reading Partnership was formed as an outgrowth of a literacy improvement initiative in the Canandaigua City School District in August, 1998. Instrumental in our development was the connection to Brigid Hubberman, Project Director for the Family Reading Partnership of Tompkins County (NY).

In January, 2000, the Community Reading Partnership held a community forum to gather data to determine if our group met a need within the community. Representatives from a multitude of agencies were invited. We received an overwhelming amount of support. Later that year, the project was "migrated" over from the school district to the Canandaigua community.

The organization falls under the umbrella of the Finger Lakes Area Community Endowment (FLACE), where we have our 501(c)(3) charitable status. A charter Agreement of Partnership has been drawn for our organization.

Today, the Community Reading Partnership continues to build support by networking with community organizations and through our visibility within the community as we fulfill our initiatives.

Our Impact

Each year, the Community Reading Partnership provides:

    • Approximately 750 books for babies at birth at Thompson Hospital
    • Approximately 500 books for babies at 12-month checkups at the Canandaigua Medical Group
    • Approximately 350 books for Kindergarten registrants (incoming kindergarteners) at Canandaigua Primary School
    • Over 10,000 books to families in our community through these Little Red Bookshelf sites:
      • Canandaigua Medical Group-Pediatrics, 355 Parrish St., Canandaigua
      • Canandaigua Medical Group-Pediatrics (Farmington Office), 1160 Corporate Drive, Farmington
      • Five Star Bank, 2425 Rochester Road, Canandaigua
      • Gleaners' Community Kitchen, St. John's Episcopal Church, 183 North St., Canandaigua
      • Happiness House-Finger Lakes United Cerebral Palsy, 5415 County Rd. 10, Canandaigua
      • Ontario County Family Court, Ontario County Court House, 27 N. Main St., Canandaigua
      • Ontario County Health Facility, Sunshine Room, 3062 County Complex Dr., Hopewell
      • Ontario County Housing Program - G.H.A., 41 Lewis St., Geneva
      • Ontario County Jail, Visitors Area, 3045 County Complex Dr., Hopewell
      • Ontario County Social Services, Main lobby, 3010 County Complex Dr., Hopewell
      • Ontario County Youth Care Facility, 3993 County Complex Dr., Hopewell
      • Our Children's Place, 9 Village Drive, Clifton Springs
      • Parkway Plaza Laundromat, Parkway Plaza, Rts. 5&20, Canandaigua
      • Planned Parenthood, 15 Lafayette Ave., Canandaigua
      • The Salvation Army, 100 Saltonstall St., Canandaigua
      • The Salvation Army Teen Center, 110 Saltonstall St., Canandaigua
      • St. Vincent DePaul, 120 N. Main St., Canandaigua
      • WIC Fingerlakes Program, 79 S. Main St., Canandaigua
    • Various grant-funded literacy programs in partnership with community organizations to promote good reading practices
Why Emphasize Literacy in Canandaigua?

Three powerful findings and a comment from some very smart people explain our reasoning:

    • Nationally, just 39% of parents read to their children on a regular basis. CRP estimates that 20%-25% of children enter a classroom for the first time having had few or no experiences with books here in Canandaigua.
    • "The single most important activity for guiding knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to young children." -- The National Commission on Reading, Becoming a Nation of Readers, 1986 report.
    • "At every age level, reading more each day was associated with higher reading scores." -- U.S. Department of Education, NAEP Reading Report Card for the Nation, 1999.
    • "Concerned about crime, poverty, and the breakdown of the family? Reading is a key to solving our greatest problems. Literacy [is] the path to a more prosperous, less dangerous America." -- Carl Sagan (scientist) & Ann Druyan (author, producer); husband & wife, quoted in Parade Magazine

Ideas You Can Use

Take this book list to the library or your favorite book store. Ask your child's teacher what level book your child is reading and click on this site. It has titles of many leveled books. You can also key in DRA Book List and you will access this site. DRA stands for Developmental Reading Assessment.

This excellent site features books, videos, activities, and a store

The Magic of Reading Out Loud

Reading out loud is magical. But to make that magic, some important factors must be present:

A Good Story

There is no substitute for the craft of a talented writer turning words into story, that deep creation that remains humanity’s greatest communication tool. We need them somehow. Stories – breezy or mythic, joyful or tragic -- make us ponder and appreciate. They crack us open to insights and experiences well beyond the story itself. They deepen us; all the more so when read out loud.

A Human Voice

Good stories bring out good reading. By that, I don’t mean “acting” out the words, either. Reading out loud and going with the flow of the writer’s craft accelerates the effect of vocabulary, sentence structure, theme, setting, and device as each piles upon the other to build the momentum of a good story. On the good stories, your own reading voice will naturally find the rhythms, cadence, and inflections that serve to bring the story jumping off the page into special reality.

A Focused Listener

Finally, the good listener is also a must. The slight lean forward, the rapt eyes, the outward energy and inward concentration, the “hanging” on the evolving story – these “energies” are important for the reader. I love the little moments when a surprising or difficult word darts like a spark from the story and kids instinctively contextualize this new word into meaning. That’s the educational power of reading out loud, the instant processing of story and vocabulary.

Put these elements together and a greater power can occur. Let me give you an example. Last year, it happened while I read Geneva (NY) writer Cynthia DeFelice’s The Ghost of Fossil Glen to a 4th grade class. When the book’s young heroine first discerns the ghost, it is a marvelously spooky scene. Words, rhythm, focus, inflection – in the sudden alchemy of reading out loud, I didn’t have to feign the shiver of thrill, fear, and wonder that announced the spirit’s presence. My own shiver got communicated to the students in the tremble of my body and voice, and passed through them in slightly different ways. There was an audible, collective gasp from the kids. And we knew that this was a cool story, now uniquely and forever alive in all of us, and that we couldn’t wait to hear, see and feel what would come next! Anticipation was in our ears, like the pre-pop of taste buds as you lift a salty chip toward your lips.

That’s the magic you can find in reading aloud. It hits like a rush of adrenaline and lingers on the skin of memory like the setting sun of a warm summer evening. When you read out loud, everybody listens. Everybody learns. Everybody lives a little closer to each other.

So, sometime soon, grab a good book and your kids, and read that good story out loud. Be a magic-maker!

by Andy Thomas

Canandaigua City School District

community reading partnership logo
How You Can Help

The Community Reading Partnership needs you.

The Community Reading Partnership could use your help in lots of ways, both big and little!

Here are a few (under construction):

  • Book Drive
  • Little Red Bookshelf Guardian
  • Host a Little Red Bookshelf
  • Processing Gently Used Books
  • Donation of Gently Used Books
  • Monetary Donations
Contact Us

We thank you for your support as we join hands and voices to encourage reading and literacy in our entire region.

Please contact us with any questions or suggestions you might have.

Phone: (585)396-3936
Community Reading Partnership
c/o 134 North Main Street
Canandaigua, NY 14424