What is Pick a Reading Partner?
Learning to read is the single most important activity in a child’s education. Studies show that children who read at home are better prepared to succeed in formal education.
PARP is a program that asks a partner (parent, grandparent, babysitter, older sibling, cousin, friend, etc.) to read with a child for at least 20 minutes daily, stressing the fact that reading can be fun as well as informative. The choice of reading materials can vary from books to anything with printed words. The daily activity of reading together strengthens reading and communication skills in the child and strengthens their relationship.
PARP is a program that cements the necessary bond between the home and the school to encourage love of reading in our children. It was developed in 1978 by the late State Senator James Donovan, Chairman of the State Senate Education Committee. In 1987 the New York State PTA was asked to assume the program’s helm, and since then has administered the program. The program was originally named Parents As Reading Partners but was changed in 2015.
PARP programs vary in length—as little as two weeks or as long as six weeks or more. The time frame is entirely up to you. There is no annual or required theme – you create your own. Each program is meant to be unique and creative. PARP programs can run at little to no cost and may be simple or elaborate. It is a voluntary effort coordinated by the school, PTA, local library or community organization and includes parents, students, administrators, teachers, staff and community members in a collaborative partnership focusing on reading.
NYS PTA has created the Pick A Reading Partner (PARP) Toolkit which provides all the necessary materials you will need to run a successful program. This is helpful for those who are creating a first-time program and for those who run a PARP program annually. Below are the sections of this Toolkit. There are suggestions on themes, programs, activities as well as sample letters, calendars, fliers and past NYS winners.
Pick a Reading Partner Toolkit
- Section 1 – PARP Program (Google Doc)
- Section 1 – PARP Program (PDF)
- Section 2 – Programs and Activities (Google Doc)
- Section 2 – Programs and Activities (PDF)
- Section 3A – Sample Forms (Google Doc)
- Section 3B – Sample Activities (Google Doc)
- Section 4 – Award Winning PARP Program Applications:
- 2018 – “Discover a New Universe with Books” Lenox PTA (PDF) NEW!
- 2017 – “Super Dodgers!” Dodge Elementary PTA (PDF)
- 2016 – “Rocking, Reading, Rapping” Oceanside School #5 PTA (PDF)
- 2015 – “Kingdom of Character, Where Royal Readers are Leaders” Bridgeport PTA (PDF)
- 2014 – “Kindness Matters” Harry E. Elden Elementary PTA (PDF)
- Section 5 – Resources (Google Doc)
- Section 5 – Resources (PDF)
Pick a Reading Partner Award
Each PTA Region will choose one outstanding program from applications to be judged by NYS PTA. The state PARP winner will receive two free registrations for the NYS PTA Convention and a plaque presented at the convention. The award-winning application will also become part of the Pick A Reading Partner Toolkit available on this web site.
PARP Award Application is available in January and due to your region director by June 15. For more information about the PARP Award please click here.
Check out these Parent Resources for ideas on literacy! You can find information for:
- Early Childhood/Preschool
- Elementary School
- Middle School
- High School
- Special Education
- ELL/Immigrant Families
National PTA also has a new reading program, the Family Reading Experience.