Literacy Initiatives

Literacy skills are not just fundamental; they are transformative for children’s lives. The ability to read, write, and comprehend not only unlocks the world of knowledge but also serves as the cornerstone for academic success, critical thinking, and self-expression. At YouthPort, we recognize the paramount importance of nurturing strong literacy skills in children. These skills lay the groundwork for a lifetime of learning, empowering young minds to explore, innovate, and thrive in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Through our dedicated literacy initiatives, we aim to provide children with the tools, resources, and support they need to become confident, lifelong learners, fostering a love for reading and empowering them to reach their full potential academically and beyond.

Ready to Read

Children today are expected to enter school with many more skills than previous generations, including social, emotional, and communication skills, in addition to a basic knowledge of math and literacy. The YPN Ready to Read program works with families with children ages 0-5 years to build upon beginning literacy skills by offering parent and child reading activities. The core areas of focus include: print knowledge, vocabulary, phonological awareness, and narrative.


A Ready to Ready activity typically follows this format:

  • A shared meal between each family
  • Four workshop stations, one for each area of literacy focus for parents and their child
  • Structured free reading or reading activity
  • Evening ends with each family taking two books home to practice skills learned
  • Parents will also have access to handouts and take home information regarding continued skill development

Lunch & Literacy

For many children, the summer months are a time of fun and exploration, but it is often a time that youth fall behind on reading development. YPN’s Lunch & Literacy program serves kids who are enrolled in summer programming by matching them with a community volunteer to practice reading skills during lunch hours throughout the summer.

Volunteers go through a training process that allows them to engage with youth and build upon beginning literacy skills such as print knowledge, vocabulary, phonological awareness, and narrative. Lunch & Literacy also focuses on the continued development of advanced skills, such as dialogic reading, reasoning and deduction, and fluency. Through mentorship and skill development, children are able to experience academic achievement, all while facing many barriers to success.