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.

PARP, developed in 1978 by NYS Senator James Donovan, is a program that cements the necessary bond between the home and the school to encourage love of reading in our children.  The program was originally named Parents As Reading Partners but was changed in 2015 to support more inclusive language.

PARP programs vary in length, there is no annual or required theme, and can run at little to no cost!

NYS PTA has created the Pick A Reading Partner (PARP) Toolkit (Coming Soon – updated 2023-24 version) for your review! And Check out these great ideas on how to PARP in a Virtual Environment!


Goal of the Award:

The primary objective is to encourage reading and other literacy-based activities in the home through recognition of PARP programs by: highlighting PARP programs; sharing outstanding PARP ideas with other PTAs/schools/libraries/communities and other parent groups; contributing to the understanding of the importance of reading and other literacy activities in the family setting and in the community.

Who May Apply?

New York State PTA units, schools (including pre-schools, non-PTA schools, non-public schools, middle schools and high schools), public libraries, community and parent groups may apply for this award.

PARP Award Criteria:

The PARP award application will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • -The program that best illustrates the PARP theme; and best encourages and educates families through collaborative reading and literacy activities will be selected
  • -The program must encourage cooperative reading or literacy activities for at least 20 minutes a day
  • -Preference  is given for the widest variety of community involvement and the level of participation
  • -The quality of communication and supportive materials are reviewed
  • -Overall program must include the words “Pick A Reading Partner”
  • -PARP is an acronym therefore has no periods
  • -Ideally, program ideas will be accessible and affordable to all communities and make creative use of literacy activities
  • -The PARP program must be held during the current school year

Application and Deadline:

Applications must be postmarked (not metered) or emailed no later than May 15, 2023 to your Region Director. Application must be submitted to the Region Director of the PTA Region in which the program was held.  Here is the list of PTA Region Directors and a map of New York State outlining PTA regions. Please email your Region Director for a mailing address.


Pick a Reading Partner Toolkit (coming soon updated for 2023-24)

Pick a Reading Partner Award Winners

PARP AwardNew York State PTA sponsors region PARP awards annually, and one statewide award winner. The PARP Award Application is available in January and must be mailed to your region director by May 15, 2023. For more information about the PARP Award please click here.


Rensselaer Park Elementary PTA – “RPES’s Adirondack Reading Adventure”

Region Award Winners 2022

  • Lakewood Elementary PTA – “Books Bring Us Together”
  • Flower Hill PTA – “Take Me Out To The Library”
  • Brockport Central PTSA – “Wild About Reading”
  • Stanley D. Saltzman East Memorial PTA – “Read S’more At Camp SEM”
  • Van Buren Elementary School PTA – “Escape Into A Good Book!”
  • Cattaraugus – Little Valley PTA – “Books Bring Us Together”