RED Ahead Program Hosts Barnes & Noble Book Fair

United Way hosted a book fair at Barnes & Noble on Sunday, December 8 and 100% of proceeds go to buying books for low-income children in the RED Ahead Program.  Red Ahead Barnes and Noble Bookfair Dec 2013_1RED Ahead stands for Read Every Day and the program provides books to low-income children to help them develop the language skills they need for kindergarten.  From January to September 2013 alone, we were able to provide over 3,500 books to families in the program.  For more details, click here.

We plan to continue partnering with the Barnes & Noble in Cedar Rapids on Collins Rd. to support this great cause.  By simply mentioning “RED Ahead” at the counter during checkout, Barnes & Noble will make a donation on your behalf.  Not able to make it into the store that day? You can shop online from 12/8/2013 to 12/12/2013 by entering the book code ID number: 11189628  Click here to shop online. 


RED Ahead is a program for parents to help their young children develop the language skills they need to be ready for kindergarten.  Parents receive educational information about early literacy, books for their children, and rewards for doing certain activities that help their children develop language.  RED Ahead began in September 2011 and is currently enrolling Urban and North Towne WIC clients who have a baby under one year old and clients who are in their third trimester of pregnancy.  RED Ahead is a program of Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Inc. (HACAP) and is funded and supported by United Way of East Central Iowa.

Posted in Education, RED Ahead

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Reading at grade level

Since last year, 10 percent fewer low-income fourth graders are reading at grade level in our area. Our RED Ahead program is working on the issue.

A Success Story

“I had a family come into the RED Ahead office with a 5-day-old baby girl. The mom was 17 and the dad was 18. They seemed slightly over¬whelmed, tired and not particularly interested in coming to RED Ahead. But as I started telling them that there were things they could be doing now to help their daughter, the dad became quite engaged. As I demonstrated, “Looking the baby in the eye, smiling and talking to her” she began to make eye contact and become more alert.

The parents could see she was responding to me. The dad said “I had no idea we should be talking to her. I didn’t think she could even hear us.”

When they left the office and went to the lobby, I observed the dad holding the baby and talking to her in the manner that I had just demon¬strated!”
Diana Strahan, Early Literacy Specialist, HACAP