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Donor support helps the San Diego Public Library’s award-winning literacy programs build essential literacy skills in both children and adults, increasing opportunities for academic, economic and personal advancement.


The library’s adult literacy program, READ/San Diego serves the estimated 450,000 San Diego adults who cannot read and write well enough to meet everyday needs. This award-winning program has become a model for the country and is staffed with literacy professionals who work with community organizations and trained volunteers to improve literacy in San Diego. READ has helped more than 22,000 adults learn to read and write with the support of more than 300 reading tutors.

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Offered through READ/San Diego, the Families for Literacy program is designed to break the cycle of intergenerational low-literacy. The program teaches low-literate parents and caregivers how to read to their children and provides age-appropriate books to help families build home libraries—a critical component of improving literacy for the whole family.

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The Campaign for Grade Level Reading is a collaborative initiative that helps ensure that children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. An important predictor of this success is achieving grade level reading abilities by the end of third grade. In partnership with the San Diego Unified School District and community organizations, the Library is leading the effort to promote school readiness and quality teaching, improve summer learning and engage parents as their children’s first teachers.